Monday, July 11, 2011


A study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University has reached a conclusion that many of us have entertained but dismissed as "not having a study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University behind it." Namely: trolling is like being sloppy drunk.

According to the research:
A new study has found that anonymity gives people the same feeling of abandon as power and alcohol intoxication.

"Although these pathways appear to be unrelated on the surface, they all lead to disinhibited states through a common psychological and neurological mechanism," said Jacob Hirsh of the university's Kellogg School of Management.

Dr Hirsh's colleague Professor Adam Galinsky said the loss of inhibition led to "significant behavioural consequences".

When people lose their inhibitions, they often behave in a manner more consistent with their true motives or character. At the same time, they also tend to be more easily influenced by their environment.

"In effect, disinhibition can both reveal and shape the person, as contradictory as that may sound," Professor Galinsky said.

The end result is that power, alcohol and anonymity can all inspire either strong pro- or anti-social sentiments in people.
The study may help explain why anonymous commentators on the web often appear to hold extreme views.
Ah, "loss of inhibition!" Is any combination of words sweeter to the ears (and livers) of trolls and drunkards alike? To be a troll is to be transported back to the heady days of frat house "Pre-Saturday Night Party" parties, where the cheap beer flowed like cheap beer and many bad decisions were made, most of them irrevocable.

1 comment:

  1. News International used it as a business strstegy


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