Online and Offline Behavior: Two Realities or One?



The paper focuses on a social psychological analysis of the effects of new technologies on the individual and his/her social experience. Among the impacts of social media on everyday life are the transformation and simplification of communication process, as well as the transformation of power relations and norms associated with this process. Participants of communication process have various opportunities to maintain anonymity, to construct and modify identities, and to interrupt and or even to terminate communication process at any time. The literature review reveals the negative side of the Internet use and demonstrates antinormative phenomena. The explanations of aggressive online behaviour, as well as the attempts to predict offline behaviour from online observations, are based on a wide range of interindividual constructs. However, these studies are mostly descriptive. The paper highlights the potential of social psychological knowledge (social cognitive theory, social representations theory and deindividuation theory) to answer the question about the relationship of online and offline behaviour. The theory of social representations may also be of much use in creating prevention programmes for adolescents and young people.

General Information

Keywords: social cognitive theory, social representations theory, deindividuation theory, social identity theory, effusion, online offline behaviour, antinormative actions, cyberbullying, social media, Internet technologies misuse

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. This article is a part of the research project “Development of a model for profiling online behavior of minors in social networks” financed by MSUPE.

For citation: Bovina I.B., Dvoryanchikov N.V. Online and Offline Behavior: Two Realities or One?. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2020. Vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 101–115. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2020250309. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Inna B. Bovina, Doctor of Psychology, Research Director, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical and Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Nikolay V. Dvoryanchikov, PhD in Psychology, Docent, Dean, Faculty of Legal and Forensic Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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