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Psychology of Flaming - NY Times Article

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pricescope

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Interesting article in NY Times: Flame First, Think Later



...several psychological factors lead to online disinhibition: the anonymity of a Web pseudonym; invisibility to others; the time lag between sending an e-mail message and getting feedback; the exaggerated sense of self from being alone; and the lack of any online authority figure. Dr. Suler notes that disinhibition can be either benign — when a shy person feels free to open up online — or toxic, as in flaming.

...

Flaming can be induced in some people with alarming ease. Consider an experiment, reported in 2002 in The Journal of Language and Social Psychology, in which pairs of college students — strangers — were put in separate booths to get to know each other better by exchanging messages in a simulated online chat room.

While coming and going into the lab, the students were well behaved. But the experimenter was stunned to see the messages many of the students sent. About 20 percent of the e-mail conversations immediately became outrageously lewd or simply rude.
Take a deep breath folks and use smileys
 

widget

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....I think another cause of online flare-ups is because people are ''talking'', but without visual (body language) and auditory cues. Way easier to be misunderstood.

Really interesting to me: "exagerated sense of self from being alone"....

widget
 

aljdewey

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Date: 2/20/2007 2:48:29 PM
Author: widget

....I think another cause of online flare-ups is because people are ''talking'', but without visual (body language) and auditory cues. Way easier to be misunderstood.
Really agree with this, too, especially with disparate points of view.

When people share differing opinions in person, it''s easier to read that they aren''t meant to be "forceful" even when you don''t agree with the content. In writing, those cues are lost.
 

larussel03

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Oct 22, 2005
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It''s funny b/c I saw this article and thought of Pricescope! (in a positive way!) Smilies are the way to go when in doubt of how tone will be taken to get the "body language part across!
 

Skippy123

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Interesting. This article makes sense. I wonder what people will be like in 20 yrs?
 

Mara

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lol i saw this post right before my boss read me a flaming email she was about to send to a slackish vendor...i laughed and told her to send it to me and i''d rewrite it in a less ''inflammatory'' way...then i told her about this article and what the excerpt said...hehee.
 

musey

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That article makes me think of TheKnot boards. Man, that place is scary.
 

movie zombie

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easy to flame online....flaming in person might get you a fist in the nose......

movie zombie
 

Stone Hunter

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I do think that part of it is 2 people that hold very different opinions and there are no facial cues or voice cues to let you know that the other person isn''t yelling. It''s just that they disagree with you and no amount of "reasoning" with them will change that.

Part 2 is the anonymity. Some people are plain mean and that comes out. On a forum we are free to say what we think without fear of what will happen. On PS I think people want to belong and stay on the forum. So we do care about what we say. And maybe this board just attracts nicer folks.
 

pricescope

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Anonymity is a big part of it yes, i have some stories not to tell...

One i can tell because it's a very clean example and not a big deal: We had an appraiser with just a user name on the forums, no credentials or signature who attacked a newbie bride for wanting a bigger diamond. This same apprised was doing business with the customers from PS for a long time i figured out. Nice eh?

Now please use your imagination and think of a situation when this same appraiser is telling HIS customer she is a greedy undeserving gold-digger while appraising her 2 ct stone. Hard? I think so too.

So why it's fine to insult MY customers? oh, i know - because it's a Net and this was his way to say Thank you to us. You are welcome, good by.
 

Stone Hunter

Ideal_Rock
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May 12, 2006
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WOW that''s just weird. Almost like a split personality. He/She must hate what they do. I''d love to look at diamonds all day and bigger ones have bigger facets. That way we all win.

Thanks for monitoring us and keeping this forum going.
 

Beacon

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Jul 14, 2006
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Forum communication psychology is similar to driving a car. Have you ever noticed that normally reasonable, controlled people can often become aggressive lunatics when driving? They don''t hesitate to use the horn or give the finger or get really, really mad very fast. I think it is similar behavior to the forum/email phenom. The driver is isolated and physically separated from his/her target audience and feels liberated by this perceived buffer zone. Road rage and flaming have much in common.

On line dating has a similar issue. I have friends who use these services and try to limit the time spent emailing prior to face to face meeting. Inevitably if they email very long, the face to face is very uncomfortable. Similar idea I think.
 

monarch64

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I''m thankful for moderators...it kind of reminds me of teachers on the playground in grade school--they keep us from killing each other verbally, at least.
 
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