Impact of Anonymity and Social Modeling: Online Aggression in Emerging Adults and Their Religious and Political Ideologies Dissertation

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Zimmerman, Adam


  • This dissertation investigated online aggression in emerging adults to understand the contextual power of anonymity and social modeling. Emerging adults are characterized as undergoing a period of identity exploration, instability, self-focus, transition, and possibility (Arnett, 2004). Given the importance of identity development at this stage of the lifespan, this research explored religiosity/spirituality and political ideology; two pivotal belief systems that are introspectively evaluated and molded in emerging adults as they separate their identities from their world views (Barry & Nelson, 2004). Furthermore, this dissertation sought to apply religiosity/spirituality and political ideology to the previously established link of anonymity and social modeling and their joined impact on online aggression (Zimmerman & Ybarra, 2016). Behavioral temptation to aggress and participant responses following interaction on a mock blog was recorded and analyzed in situations of anonymity and positive or neutral social models. Aggressive social modeling influenced blog posts and behavioral temptation to aggress. Religiosity/spirituality and political attitudes moderated aggression in blog posts.

publication date

  • August 28, 2017


  • Anonymity
  • Cyberbullying
  • Cyberdisinhibition
  • Emerging Adults
  • Online Aggression
  • Political Ideology
  • Religiosity
  • Social Modeling

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)