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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

on 11 May 2015
The editor has selected articles that provide a decent overview of the field, though expect some redundancy between articles (e.g., similar studies cited over and over again). I wish the book included a chapter on internet addition and treatment, however, and the first chapter by the editor includes some distracting grammatical errors. Overall, this is an accessible, scholarly introduction to the burgeoning field of cyber psychology that presents both the benefits and costs of on increasingly 'netified' world.
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on 4 July 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a forensic and criminal psychologist I am always interested in the behaviour of others and the internet has caused a massive change in the behaviour of people. The anonymity of the internet is both a blessing and a curse. Those people who would have previously started rumours in their local area about someone (or sent poison pen letters to their victims friends and family) now they go on the internet to one or more of the social networking sites and/or chat rooms and start spreading the rumour under sock-puppet usernames which they believe will never be traced back to them. This is, however, not true every move we make on the internet (as we now know for certain) is logged and recorded for future reference (mainly by the Americans).

Should we be surprised that the governments are keeping track of what we do? In my opinion no we shouldn't. It is extremely naive to think that you cannot be traced as those involved in the recent McApline "scandal" can testify - see also Edward Snowdon/Wikileaks/Telegraph Newspaper release of "spying" information on USA secret service.

One of the problems with the internet is that you have no way of knowing if the person you are talking to is "real". Take, for example, the case of Megan Meier. Megan was 13 when she "met" a 16 year old boy called "Josh Evans" and, with Megan's mum's approval, they began to message each other. All went well for 6 weeks when Josh suddenly turned against her telling her that she was a horrible person and that the "world would be a better place without you". Megan's mother showed her no empathy towards her daughter - telling her off for not turning the computer off when she was told to, and berating her for being a "bad person". Feeling abandoned and devastated she took her own life. Except ... Josh was not a teenage boy but the 49 year old mother of a girl who she had known at her previous school. Megan was found, about 20 minutes after telling her mother "you're supposed to be on my side", hanging in her closet and died the next day - just 3 weeks before her 14th birthday.

Initially convicted of misdemeanours neighbour Lori Drew's convictions were overturned on appeal and they walked away from the court room free. The local people (some of their children had been involved in that final day's cyber-attack) were so outraged that they launched their own "revenge" on the Drew family and drove them out of town.

Such cases prove that the internet is an extremely dangerous place. People behave in ways which they would never dare to in "real life".

Yet the internet is not all bad - or so I'm told.

The book contains 13 chapters on various aspects of the online world:

- internet and personality
- notified: social cognition in crowds and clouds
- identify manipulation
- online romantic relationships
- computer mediated persuasion and compliance
- online decision making
- internet and aggression
- kindness of strangers
- groups and computer mediated communication
- leadership within virtual contexts
- online prejudice and discrimination
- online intergroup contact
- internet as psychological laboratory revisited

Each chapter is an essay by a different author (or authors) and I have found it to be extremely interesting, though I would like to debate some of the issues made with the authors - but this probably because I have come from the area of psychology and have seen the same issues from a different point of view.

If I had one problem with the essays in the book it is the repeated use of "Second Life" and I have to wonder if people still play that. Other than that this is an interesting resource for anyone interested in the influence of the internet so far, but I would recommend that you use it as part of your research and not as a "whole subject" text.
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VINE VOICEon 8 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a quality textbook suitable for anyone involved in Media Studies. The contributors give a formidable overview of the way the internet and all other Social Media has taken over our lives, but they do compare this to living away from the screen. I suspect that living without media technology is safer than living with the many insidious ways through which Internet/Social Media abusers can invade. One particular chapter that bothered me is about Pro-Social Behaviour: Well-meaning users send emails and/or advertise for help with charities or personal endeavours. Too many of these turn out to be scams. This is an example of what is named Moral Disengagement, along with Identity Theft, Stalking, Cyberbullying etc. All these and more are explained with all their variants. It makes illuminating, if sad, reading. This book looks at all aspects of the Utopia/Dystopia of life online. Well worth reading.
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on 3 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the 2 edition of a book published in 2005. It features 27 contributors and offers up to date research on every aspect of online social behaviour. It includes topics as diverse as internet addiction, cyber bullying and stalking, suicide sites, online dating, Second Life, chat rooms, pro-social behaviour, aggression, identity concealment and so on.

The effect of the internet on our lives has been enormous, for good or ill, and has been compared in importance to the industrial revolution. Here is a book that covers all these topics and is a must read for anyone concerned with the internet,in other words, all of us.

Rating 5 out of 5.
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on 1 March 2013
If you are fortunate enough to have read other books edited by Yair Amichai-Hamburger or have an interest in the impact of the internet on humanity, then you will be interested to know that he has revisited the theme of his first book with a second edition of "The Social Net: Understanding Our Online Behavior". Yair Amichai-Hamburger received his Ph.D. from Oxford University. He is the director of the Research Center for Internet Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. All of the books edited by Yair Amichai-Hamburger focus on the personalities of individuals as they relate to others and how the internet facilitates those interactions. He does so in style that transforms a seemingly technical subject into a book of interest to experts in the field and yet is accessible to the general reader.

The new edition presents a wide range of articles by distinguished scholars. Each article examines the relationship of individual personalities with other individuals and groups in different contexts. The common thread of each article is the impact of the internet on each context and their participants. The interaction between individuals and groups as well as the dissemination of information is accelerating geometrically. This book provides a snapshot of the positive and negative aspects of our present circumstance and an idea of our future in the contexts of leadership, persuasion, romance, and decision making as impacted by the internet.

This book is unique in that it provides you an opportunity to remain abreast with our rapidly evolving lives.
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