Does the Internet make you more aggressive? A study conducted by Aarhus University rather tends to show that the Internet acts as a megaphone for people who are already intolerant in life.
A commonly held assumption is that humans become meaner and embittered when interacting with other users online, while they are much nicer and more agreeable in person. A study conducted by Aarhus University based on surveys and behavioral research in the United States and Denmark shows that this is not the reality.
The reflection of real life
The findings of this study actually indicate that online interactions largely mirror behaviors in real life. People predisposed to aggressive behavior are just as obnoxious on the internet as they are elsewhere. This is a deliberate strategy on their part, rather than the consequence of the medium used.
The researchers also observed that people with the least hostility in life talk less about politics online. Similar results were found in both the United States and Denmark, two countries that have very different political cultures with levels of polarization that have nothing to do with each other.
” We found that people are not more hostile online or offline “, can we read in the study. ” Hostile individuals do not necessarily choose online political discussions over offline. People don’t see much hostility in online messages “, add the authors.
Research certainly indicates that there are many psychological reasons for online aggression: the fact that users cannot see the faces of those with whom they are chatting, or the form of rapid written communication that can easily lead to misunderstandings. But it turns out that it’s the user’s personality that is a “much more powerful” driver of online hostility.
To put it another way, individuals who act like trolls in life don’t change their attitude on the internet.