The influence of levels of anonymity on online self-presentation, self-disclosure and impression management
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The main aim of the current study is to determine whether levels of anonymity influence one’s levels of self-regulation, self-disclosure and impression management among both public and anonymous online platforms. For the purpose of this study, the websites being explored included Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and 4chan. Participants (N = 221, M = 114, F = 107), were approached online through a Google Forms link which consisted of the Compensation and Self-Presentation subscales of the Psycho-Social Aspects of Facebook Use Questionnaire (PSAFU) (Bodroža, and Jovanović, 2016). These were followed by researcher-generated questions, which assessed participants levels of self-regulation, self-disclosure and negative attributes. It was hypothesised that those who use public platforms will engage in censoring, self-regulatory behaviour, which the results showed to be true. The second hypothesis stated that those who use public platforms will also be less likely to discuss negative attributes due to fear of societal expectations, which the results also showed to be the case. The third and final hypothesis stated that those who use anonymous platforms will engage with them with more honesty and self-disclosure, which the results showed to be supported.
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