Special Issue "Deindividuation in Online Human Dynamics Research Advances in the Modern Digital Era"

A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andrea Guazzini

Department of Education and Psychology & Center for the Study of Complex Dynamics (CSDC), University of Florence, Via di San Salvi 12, 50135 Firenze, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: social psychology; group dynamics; social cognition; sociophysics; cognitive neuroscience
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Franco Bagnoli

Dept. Physics and Astronomy and CSDC, Via Giovanni Sansone, 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: discrete dynamical and stochastic models, with applications to physics, biology, computer and cognitive sciences; evolution of human heuristics in real and virtual interactions; effect of risk perception in the diffusion of information, viruses and malware in human and computer networks
Guest Editor
Dr. Giorgio Gronchi

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, Drug. Research and Child Health - Section of Psychology, University of Florence, Via di San Salvi 12, 50135 Firenze, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cognitive psychology; mathematical psychology; behavioral data analysis; thinking and reasoning; sociophysics; cognitive neuroscience

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In a world where over the 50% of the population has access to the Internet, and over the 40% are active social media users, to understand the dynamics that underlie the behaviors of people and groups in the online environments is one of the main challenges for researchers interested in studying humans social dynamics, for the present and for the future.

Online environments, on the one hand, allow the development of interactions in some way similar to those that occur in the real world, and, on the other, some characteristics are peculiar of communication exchanged through the web, such as anonymity, physical distance, degree of telepresence, social cues availability and asynchronicity.

One of the major topics of interest for future research in the field of human online interactions is represented by the phenomenon of deindividuation.

Classical theories focused their attention on the effect of deindividuation on violent and antisocial behaviors. Nowadays, modern theories extended the study on deindividuation to embrace a wide spectrum of phenomena related to group life, like social norms change, conformism, and social identity development/management.

For what concern the effect of deindividuation in context of computer mediated communication (CMC), the most up-to-date model is represented by the Social Identity model of Deindividuation Effects (SIDE model). The SIDE model examines group interactions even within online environments, considering the effects of anonymity. According to the SIDE model, when an individual is in a situation of online interaction that promotes identification with the group, and increases its importance for the subject, anonymity produces a polarization mechanisms towards the position of the reference group, and a greater tendency to adhere to local social norms, in force, in the context of interaction. On the contrary, when the context promotes the salience of personal identity, anonymity in online interactions leads to a reduction in the importance attributed to the membership of that group, and the deviation from the collective rules in favor of the subjective ones.

This Special Issue aims to present the latest results of research on the topic of deindividuation effects in online environments. The main topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Contributions to a contemporary theoretical issue or debate about online deindividuation;
  • The process of adherence to social norms in an online environment.
  • The role (and the development) of social identity in online group dynamics.
  • The SIDE model and the digital pedagogy.
  • The SIDE model and the digital democracy.
  • SIDE model, proteus effect and perspectives of cyber therapy.
  • Online deindividuation and online radicalization.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Guazzini
Prof. Dr. Franco Bagnoli
Dr. Giorgio Gronchi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Future Internet is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Deindividuation effects
  • Digital pedagogy
  • Digital Democracy
  • Online radicalization
  • Digital identity development
  • Online group dynamics
  • Social norms development within online environments

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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