The influence of online social capital, and toxic disinhibition upon cyberstander intervention

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Noakes, Darren
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This study attempted to investigate the predictive influence of internet social capital and online toxic disinhibition on cyberstander behaviour. Facebook users (n=162) supplied demographic information and completed three survey questionnaires. These were The Toxic Online Disinhibition Subscale (Udris, 2014) used to measure participant toxic online disinhibition and the Online Social Capital Scale (Suler, 2006) to measure bridging and bonding social capital levels. Lastly, participants completed the reinforcer and defender subscales of, Bystander Intervention Measure (Fitzpatrick, & Bussey 2011). Bivariate regression analysis revealed no significant relationship between online social capital and cyberstander intervention in either bonding F (1,160) =.292, p =.590) or bridging F (1,160) =.092, p=.763. These data suggest, diffusion of responsibility occurs regardless of the SC group type. Furthermore, results demonstrate online toxic disinhibition did not predict cyberstander intervention F (1,160) =.131, p=.718), supporting the hypothesis (Udris, 2014) that online disinhibition exists in two distinct forms, influencing behaviour differently. Future research of these phenomena may wish to consider the development of a bystander measure, applicable to social media environments. Finally, the interaction effect of online social capital and toxic disinhibition did not predictive cyberstander intervention in either bonding F (1,159) =.189, p=.828) or bridging conditions F (1,159) =.189, p=.870). Snowball sampling led to questionnaires appearing on a participant recruitment sight primarily used by social science students, thus raising the potential of sample bias.