Event Title

Does the Online Disinhibition Effect Influence the Shaping of Fan Behaviors?

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Scott Coykendall

Abstract

This poster is a visual representation of a research paper I wrote for my Communication and Media Studies course last fall. In that class, we had been studying an essay by psychologist John Suler, entitled “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” His paper examined the disconnect between the ways people conduct themselves online and offline, and outlined six possible contributing factors that could influence online behavior. After studying the paper, we were tasked with writing our own on the subject of online disinhibition. I chose to write mine on online fan communities, and investigated whether any of the six main factors of the Online Disinhibition Effect influenced the creation, growth, and interaction between and within fan bases. My poster follows the same progression between sources as my paper. It begins with an anecdotal introduction to the Effect and the goal of my research, before leading into various sources that outline the basic structure of fanbases and the benign and toxic ways in which fans can interact. I attempt to draw connections between these researchers’ points and the Online Disinhibition Effect, but my results remain largely inconclusive. I determine that this is a result of fan studies’ infancy as an academic field.

Location

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

Start Date

5-2-2019 4:00 PM

End Date

5-2-2019 5:00 PM

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May 2nd, 4:00 PM May 2nd, 5:00 PM

Does the Online Disinhibition Effect Influence the Shaping of Fan Behaviors?

Hartman Union Building Courtroom

This poster is a visual representation of a research paper I wrote for my Communication and Media Studies course last fall. In that class, we had been studying an essay by psychologist John Suler, entitled “The Online Disinhibition Effect.” His paper examined the disconnect between the ways people conduct themselves online and offline, and outlined six possible contributing factors that could influence online behavior. After studying the paper, we were tasked with writing our own on the subject of online disinhibition. I chose to write mine on online fan communities, and investigated whether any of the six main factors of the Online Disinhibition Effect influenced the creation, growth, and interaction between and within fan bases. My poster follows the same progression between sources as my paper. It begins with an anecdotal introduction to the Effect and the goal of my research, before leading into various sources that outline the basic structure of fanbases and the benign and toxic ways in which fans can interact. I attempt to draw connections between these researchers’ points and the Online Disinhibition Effect, but my results remain largely inconclusive. I determine that this is a result of fan studies’ infancy as an academic field.