Toward Atheory of Automated Group Work: The Deindividuating Effects of Anonymity

Leonard M. Jessup, Terry Connolly, David A. Tansik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Recent developments in information systems technology have made it possible for individ- uals to work together anonymously using networked personal computers. Use of one such technology, the Group Decision Support System, is growing quickly. However, empirical GDSS research is only beginning to emerge, and, as of yet, this literature lacks a sound guiding theory. In this article we propose a theory of anonymous interaction. Grounded in social psychological research in deindividuation and sociallcognitive loafing, we explain anonymous GDSS interaction. Evidence is provided to suggest that anonymity has deindividuating effects on group process and can, therefore, influence group outcomes in several ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-348
Number of pages16
JournalSmall Group Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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