Studium Generale - Online Discussions

#OnlineHaters: Why Internet Discussions Escalate

Date: Time: 16:45 Location: Blackbox, Esplanade building (Tilburg University)

Online interactions are more prone to bicker and battle than face-to-face discussions, because we express our opinions too clearly online, social psychologist Carla Roos argues. Curious to hear why she promotes more communicative vagueness? Find out during this lecture. (English / SG-Certificate*)

Time: 16:45-17:45 hrs.  
Admission is free, no registration required.

Online conflict

Just read the comments section of a popular tweet, YouTube video or news article and you'll see just how fast things can get out of hand on the internet. People call each other all kinds of names and swearing seems to be the norm. It almost seems as if people are consciously trying to pick a fight online. Things can also take a turn on WhatsApp, Teams or when sending an email. For example, when you receive a reaction from someone that seems a bit cold or blunt, while they probably did not intend that at all. What exactly goes wrong here? Why do online conversations escalate more easily than physical ones?

We need more vagueness

Because people become less socially concerned when they are anonymous? Or because online messages are unclear and therefore easily misunderstood? According to Carla it’s none of these reasons. She will reveal that the opposite is often the case: our online communication is so clear that it can make people appear antisocial. This is why she urges us to be vaguer in our online communication. Wondering what this could look like? Join us during this lecture and find out.

Carla Roos

Carla is an assistant professor in the department of Communication and Cognition of Tilburg University. She completed her PhD in social psychology at the University of Groningen. Her expertise lays in online discussions, where she focuses on the behaviors of interaction partners and on how these behaviors are socially attributed and interpreted. Besides this, she is currently developing a research line into the concept of feeling heard.  She studies what it means to feel (un)heard in individual interactions but also on a collective level (e.g., as a teacher by the government), and tries to uncover the causes and consequences of this experience. Carla likes to take a creative approach to science, for example, she developed new chat services and ran a study with actors.

Carla Roos

More information

This lecture is organized by Studium Generale in cooperation with Study Associations Flow and Animo.

Contact: Hannah van den Bosch (Studium Generale).

* For students, this lecture may count towards the SG-Certificate. Check the SG-Certificate website for all the terms and conditions. 


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