Let's agree to agree : effects of self-awareness and social identity on online deliberation
This experiment assesses the effects of ingroup versus outgroup communication in an online, one-on-one, anonymous setting on perceptions of deliberation quality in a conversation task pertaining to abortion policy. Additionally, the study examines the effects of different secondary goals during converstion tasks--those of persuasion, and those of other-awareness, or understanding--in concert with trait online disinhibition tendencies in individuals. Finally, outcomes related to perceptions of one's conversation partner (civility, intelligence, rationality, hostility, and others), perceived compromise, feelings of political deliberation cynicism, and accuracy of other awareness (i.e., ability to correctly recall a partner's abortion-related attitudes gleaned through conversation) were also measured. Many similar studies have found that the majority of online hostility will be committed by, accepted by, or even expected by those with higher levels of toxic online disinhibition--but as of yet, there has been relatively little research that inquires how civility can be encouraged in those predisposed to such toxic behaviors online. Notably, this study finds that those with higher levels of toxic, but not benign, online disinhibition prior to the task are capable of engaging amicably in deindividuated, anonymous online settings if their partner demonstrates a commitment to rationality even more than civility or intelligence, and at the same time does not compromise too easily.
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