Disinhibition of negative true self for identity reconstructions in cyberspace: Advancing self-discrepancy theory for virtual setting

Hu, C. and Kumar, S. and Huang, J. and Ratnavelu, K. (2017) Disinhibition of negative true self for identity reconstructions in cyberspace: Advancing self-discrepancy theory for virtual setting. PLoS ONE, 12 (4). e0175623. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175623

Abstract

In face-to-face communications, to avoid sanctions and disapproval from others, people are more likely to hide negative aspects of their true self (such as socially undesirable personalities, minds, beliefs and consciousness) to avoid conflict with social norms and laws. The anonymity of cyberspace provides people a unique environment to behave more freely and openly with less restraint from the real word. Existing research related to online true self expression has mainly explored true self as an independent aspect of self. Regarding true self as a two-dimensional concept, this study investigates true self from the perspective of individuals' self-guide and identity reconstruction in both online and offline world. Using qualitative research methods, the current study investigates 57 participants through interviews and questionnaires. Content analysis reveals four factors that motivate people to express more true self (especially negative true self) when reconstructing their online identity and involve true self as a part of their self-guide in anonymous environment. By incorporating true self as an important part of individuals' self-guide and identity online, the current study advances self-discrepancy theory, making it more comprehensive for cyberspace. The results are also interpreted based on self-determination theory. The theoretical contributions of this study are discussed and practical implications are also presented.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adult; Female; Humans; Internet; Male; Security Measures; Young Adult
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Institute of Mathematical Sciences
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 05:20
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2018 05:20
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/19165

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