Social Identity Model of Deindividuation Effects

The social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE model) explains how group behavior is affected by anonymity and identifiability. There are many social situations in which people interact in relatively anonymous ways. In social interactions on the Internet, for example, people often use pseudonyms or avatars (pictures) to identify themselves, and even e-mail addresses do not typically provide much information about senders. Another example is the anonymity people experience when they are in a crowd. An important question, therefore, is how anonymity affects people's behavior.

SIDE was developed as an alternative to deindividuation theory. Deindividuation theory suggests that anonymity leads to a loss of self-awareness, and this loss leads to a rise in antinormative behavior. But deindividuation research shows contradictory results: Anonymity in groups often ...

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