Friday, April 22, 2011

Psychology of forums - understanding the trolls

Psychology of forums - understanding the trolls

'Anyone can speak Troll,' said Fred dismissively, 'all you have to do is point and grunt.' - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling (2000)

How To Handle A Troll, and Beat Them at Their Own Game (an oldie)

" Many Trolls just want to be a nuisance. They're kids who aren't mature enough to have a sensible conversation. These Trolls fall under The Bored category, but that does not necessarily mean that all Trolls are children. Many "mature" adults find enjoyment in Trolling groups.

But there are other trolls who set out to cause havoc. This may include posing as a regular poster in the group (then acting in a way to deflame that person's good name). Or it may be to draw members of the group into an argument...... "


How to Handle Trolls on Your Website? Few Tips

Doc Says: How to Handle Trolls and Spammers

How To Handle Blog Trolls


"A double bind" - an emotionally distressing dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages, in which one message negates the other. This creates a situation in which a successful response to one message results in a failed response to the other (and vice versa), so that the person will be automatically wrong regardless of response. The double bind occurs when the person cannot confront the inherent dilemma, and therefore cannot resolve it or opt out of the situation. For example, if your employer tells you to do a job but doesn't allow enough time for you to do it and you are in danger of losing your job if you question the situation you are in a double bind.....

A poem illustrating the flow chart -

"The Purloined Letter Approach" -  the general name of a plan to hide something in plain view. The technique is also referred to as Hiding in plain view.


Reactance psychology

Psychological reactance theory

Psychological reactance is an aversive affective reaction in response to regulations or impositions that impinge on freedom and autonomy (Brehm, 1966, 1972, Brehm & Brehm, 1981; Wicklund, 1974). This reaction is especially common when individuals feel obliged to adopt a particular opinion or engage in a specific behavior.

Specifically, a perceived diminution in freedom ignites an emotional state, called psychological reactance, that elicits behaviors intended to restore this autonomy (Brehm, 1966, 1972, Brehm & Brehm, 1981; Wicklund, 1974). Reactance, for example, often encourages individuals to espouse an opinion that opposes the belief or attitude they were encouraged, or even coerced, to adopt. As a consequence, reactance often augments resistance to persuasion (Brehm & Brehm, 1981). Reactance was proposed to explain many common examples of resistance in society, such as the adverse effects of prohibition....


The phenomenology of reactance

Reactance is an emotional reaction in direct contradiction to rules or regulations that threaten or eliminate specific behavioral freedoms.

Reactance can occur when someone is heavily pressured to accept a certain view or attitude. Reactance can cause the person to adopt or strengthen a view or attitude that is contrary to what was intended, and also increases resistance to persuasion. People using reverse psychology are playing on at least an informal awareness of reactance, attempting to influence someone to choose the opposite of what they request.


The Need For A Phenomenological System of Psychology - by Donald Snygg


Qualia: The Knowledge Argument


Brainy mind - Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol


The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups - by Mancur Olson, Jr.

"..if everyone in a group has interests in common, then they will act collectively to achieve them; and in a democracy, the greatest concern is that the majority will tyrannize and exploit the minority.

The book argues that individuals in any group attempting collective action will have incentives to "free ride" on the efforts of others if the group is working to provide public goods. Individuals will not “free ride” in groups which provide benefits only to active participants.

Public goods are goods which are non-excludable (i.e. one person cannot reasonably prevent another from consuming the good) and non-rivalrous (one person’s consumption of the good does not affect another’s, nor vice-versa). Hence, without selective incentives to motivate participation, collective action is unlikely to occur even when large groups of people with common interests exist....."


See also:

Minimisation is a type of deception involving denial coupled with rationalisation in situations where complete denial is implausible. It is the opposite of exaggeration.

'Minimization is one of the most common ways we reduce our feelings of guilt..."It's not that big of a deal"'......

Tactical media


Reverse psychology



UC Berkeley OpenCourseWare -

MIT OpenCourseWare -