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In what ways is interpersonal conflict in computer mediated communication different from interpersonal conflict in the real world?

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  • Essay length: 2323 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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University Degree Social Psychology

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In what ways is interpersonal conflict in computer mediated communication different from interpersonal conflict in the real world?

This essay will comment on the ways in which interpersonal conflict in computer mediated communication might be different from interpersonal conflict in the real world. It will look at both theories of aggression and recent research on the psychology of the Internet. It will begin by looking at the basic theories of aggression and go on to examine interpersonal conflict in the real world and interpersonal conflict in computer mediated communication. Finally it will comment on the differences between the two.

In psychological research on aggression there are two basic positions: one sees aggression as a form of behaviour, which is governed by innate instincts or drives; the other sees aggression as a form of behaviour, which is acquired through individual experience. There is also an intermediate position that integrates the concept of drive and learning, this is known as the frustration-aggression hypothesis.

The concept of aggression as an instinct can be seen in the framework of psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud developed the idea of aggression as instinctive: a servant of the 'pleasure principle'. Aggression was seen as

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