Perceived anonymity in computer-mediated communication (PACC)​

Anonymity is considered a significant factor influencing behavior in the online sphere. However, the current view of anonymity is unclear, overly simplified, and does not take into account its multidimensional nature. In particular, existing research neglects subjectively perceived anonymity, which changes over time, across contexts, and differs from 'objective' state of anonymity. That being said, the explicit delineation and exploration of perceived anonymity are essential for understanding social phenomena, such as cyberaggression or prosocial behavior in the online environment.

This project focuses on adults' perception of anonymity online, aiming to provide a new perspective on the concept of perceived anonymity in the online environment and illuminate its role in online social interactions. The specific research goals of the project are:

  1. Re-conceptualization of perceived anonymity
  2. Development and validation of the psychometric properties of a scale measuring perceived anonymity
  3. Investigation of factors influencing the perception of anonymity online and its impact in the context of online communication

The project's output will be a new multidimensional conceptualization of perceived anonymity, taking into account various forms and contexts in which perceived anonymity manifests. Additionally, a scale for measuring perceived anonymity will be developed, freely available to researchers in an international context. Lastly, findings from experimental studies will deepen our understanding of the role of perceived anonymity in online communication.

This project is funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MŠMT) as part of the "ERC CZ" project. The program aims to support projects of so-called "borderline research," those pushing the boundaries of knowledge, which have succeeded in evaluations conducted by expert panels of the European Research Council and are implemented by Czech, internationally recognized researchers (MŠMT, n.d.).

MŠMT. (2023, November). ERC CZ (LL).

Designed by / Freepik

Project Period: 2024 - 2025
Investor: Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MŠMT)
Project number: LL2304

Researchers: Hana Macháčková, David Lacko, Nikol Kvardová, Tomáš Vojtíšek, Michal Mužík, Martina Novotná, Tereza Hálová, Anna Literová

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