Title

Cyber-aggression and victimization and social information processing: Integrating the medium and the message

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Faculty

Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science

School

School of Exercise and Health Sciences/Child Health Promotion Research Centre

RAS ID

17409

Comments

This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. This article was originally published as: Runions, K. C., Shapka, J., Dooley, J. J., & Modecki, K. (2013). Cyber-aggression and victimization and social information processing: Integrating the medium and the message. Psychology of Violence, 3(1), 9-26. Original article available here

Abstract

Objective: To theoretically examine how the functional properties of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) may potentially influence social information processing (SIP) relevant to cyber-aggression and victimization (CAV), and the opportunities for aggression and victimization that these new technologies provide. Results: Our conceptual analysis highlights multiple functional properties of ICTs that provide opportunities for CAV, and implicates new social norms arising around use of ICTs that may also distinguish online from offline aggression and victimization. These include the paucity and/or permanence of social cues, the deployment of substitute cues (e.g., emoticons), ambiguity around intentions of communicators and around perceptions of privacy and audience, and the removal of response inhibitors resulting from continuous access to ICTs. Conclusions: Our analysis provides a useful heuristic device and reveals a need for innovative research to better examine how features of ICTs modulate social information processing to increase (or decrease) the likelihood of cyber-aggression and victimization. The consideration of SIP in understanding CAV opens important avenues for future empirical inquiry.

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