Understanding Cyber Aggression in Social Media Users with the Social Psychology Paradigm


Cyber aggression has become a hot issue of research studies over the past ten years. Some researchers explain these phenomena in the form of oppressive behavior, harassment and hatred that occurs in cyberspace. At present, the social-psychological theory approach is still considered as a precise discipline in explaining the dynamics of cyber aggression and its predecessor factors. The approach used in this article is a critical review method. This method implemented by finding theoretical references along with the latest research results of cyber aggression cases and problems. Several theoretical studies and the latest research results have revealed that the behavior of cyber aggression is another form of traditional aggression behavior, especially verbal aggression that uses online media or social networking. This paper also describes several approaches to social psychology theory in explaining the phenomenon of attacking behavior in cyberspace comprehensively. In general, it can be explained that cyber aggression is formed from interactions between an innate person or personal attributes and external attributes as dimensions of the environment learning. It originates from individual cyber contexts and communication characteristics in cyberspace in the form of social media algorithms.


Cyber aggression, social psychology, social media user, social psychology paradigm


  • [1] P. K. Smith, "Cyberbullying and Cyber Aggression. Handbook of School Violence and School Safety," ed London, 2013.
  • [2] J. Pyżalski, "Electronic aggression among adolescents: An old house with a new facade (or even a number of houses),[in:] Youth culture and net culture: Online social practices, eds C. Hällgren, E. Dunkels, GM. Frånberg," M. Frånberg, C. Hällgren, Hershey, PA, 2011.
  • [3] O. Jubany, "Backgrounds, Experiences and Responses to Online Hate Speech: An Ethnographic Multi-sited Analysis," in 2nd Annual International Conference on Social Science and Contemporary Humanity Development, 2015.
  • [4] D. Álvarez-García, et al., "Validation of the Cybervictimization Questionnaire (CYVIC) for adolescents," Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 70, pp. 270-281, 2017.
  • [5] L. Corcoran, et al., "Cyberbullying or cyber aggression?: A review of existing definitions of cyber-based peer-to-peer aggression," Societies, vol. 5, pp. 245-255, 2015.
  • [6] I. Gagliardone, et al., Countering online hate speech: Unesco Publishing, 2015.
  • [7] M. Walters, et al., "Causes and motivations of hate crime," Equality and Human Rights Commission research report, vol. 102, 2016.
  • [8] M. Maxwell, "Rage and social media: The effect of social media on perceptions of racism, stress appraisal, and anger expression among young African American adults," 2016.
  • [9] V. Bozdag, "Bursting the filter bubble: Democracy, design, and ethics," 2015.
  • [10] D. Lerner, The structure of cyber and traditional aggression: An integrated conceptualization: Arizona State University, 2013.
  • [11] D. C. Bennett, et al., "College students’ electronic victimization in friendships and dating relationships: Anticipated distress and associations with risky behaviors," Violence and victims, vol. 26, pp. 410-429, 2011.
  • [12] M. A. Hogg and G. M. Vaughan, Social Psychology (eighth). New York: Pearson Education Limited 2014, 2018.
  • [13] C.-M. Chou, "Social media characteristics, customer relationship and brand equity," American Journal of Business, vol. 10, 2019.
  • [14] K. Zourou, "On the attractiveness of social media for language learning: A look at the state of the art," Alsic. Apprentissage des Langues et Systèmes d'Information et de Communication, vol. 15, 2012.
  • [15] D. C. Hong and S. Liang, "Media characteristics and social networks-enabled knowledge integration in cooperative work," Procedia computer science, vol. 60, pp. 246-255, 2015.
  • [16] A. Amrollahi and N. McBride, "How to Burst The Bubble In Social Networks," in the 24th UK Academy for Information Systems International Conference (UKAIS 2019), 2019.
  • [17] A. R. Hidayah, "Persecution Act as Filter Bubble Effect: Digital Society and The Shift of Public Sphere," Jurnal Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik, vol. 22, pp. 112-126, 2018.
  • [18] J. Pyżalski, "From cyberbullying to electronic aggression: typology of the phenomenon," Emotional and behavioural difficulties, vol. 17, pp. 305-317, 2012.
  • [19] S. E. Goldstein, "Adolescents’ disclosure and secrecy about peer behavior: Links with cyber aggression, relational aggression, and overt aggression," Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 25, pp. 1430-1440, 2016.
  • [20] G. Le Bon, The crowd: A study of the popular mind: T. Fisher Unwin, 1897.
  • [21] R. Slovensky and W. H. Ross, "Should human resource managers use social media to screen job applicants? Managerial and legal issues in the USA," info, 2012.
  • [22] R. Cohen-Almagor, "Countering hate on the Internet," Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik/Annual Review of Law and Ethics, pp. 431-443, 2014.
  • [23] K. O'Hara and D. Stevens, "Echo chambers and online radicalism: Assessing the Internet's complicity in violent extremism," Policy & Internet, vol. 7, pp. 401-422, 2015.
  • [24] R. P. Ang and D. H. Goh, "Cyberbullying among adolescents: The role of affective and cognitive empathy, and gender," Child Psychiatry & Human Development, vol. 41, pp. 387-397, 2010.
  • [25] G. E. LeSure-Lester, "Relation between empathy and aggression and behavior compliance among abused group home youth," Child Psychiatry and Human Development, vol. 31, pp. 153-161, 2000.
  • [26] E. M. Romera, et al., "Multidimensional social competence, motivation, and cyberbullying: A cultural approach with Colombian and Spanish adolescents," Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, vol. 48, pp. 1183-1197, 2017.
  • [27] R. l. Ueberall and M. Scharkow. (2016). Social-Media-Impacts-Behavior-Norms. Available: www.nycrimecommission.org
  • [28] R. Festl, et al., "The individual or the group: A multilevel analysis of cyberbullying in school classes," Human Communication Research, vol. 41, pp. 535-556, 2015.
  • [29] M. L. Williams and O. Pearson, "Hate crime and bullying in the age of social media," 2016.
  • [30] E. Vanderhoven, et al., "Developing educational materials about risks on social network sites: a design based research approach," Educational technology research and development, vol. 64, pp. 459-480, 2016.
  • [31] T. Konold, et al., "Racial/ethnic differences in perceptions of school climate and its association with student engagement and peer aggression," Journal of youth and adolescence, vol. 46, pp. 1289-1303, 2017.
  • [32] A. Bandura, "Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective," Annual review of psychology, vol. 52, pp. 1-26, 2001.
  • [33] I. Ajzen, "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational behavior and human decision processes, vol. 50, pp. 179-211, 1991.
  • [34] A. N. Doane, et al., "Reducing cyberbullying: A theory of reasoned action‐based video prevention program for college students," Aggressive behavior, vol. 42, pp. 136-146, 2016.
  • [35] W. Heirman and M. Walrave, "Predicting adolescent perpetration in cyberbullying: An application of the theory of planned behavior," Psicothema, vol. 24, pp. 614-620, 2012.
  • [36] A. N. Leung, et al., "You are what you read: the belief systems of cyber-bystanders on social networking sites," Frontiers in psychology, vol. 9, p. 365, 2018.
  • [37] S. Pabian and H. Vandebosch, "Using the theory of planned behaviour to understand cyberbullying: The importance of beliefs for developing interventions," European Journal of developmental psychology, vol. 11, pp. 463-477, 2014.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.32698/GCS-PSTRS387