The psychological dimensions of collective action, online

Tom Postmes

in Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199561803
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The psychological dimensions of collective action, online

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  • Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology



This article examines the consequences of the migration of collective action into the mediated sphere. It focuses on the impact of the Internet on key psychological factors that are involved in collective action. The structure is as follows. First, the article considers the theoretical backdrop to its themes, focusing first on the classic literatures on crowds and on mediated communication, followed by more contemporary perspectives – identifying the underlying consistencies in the theoretical themes these literatures address. It identifies some key psychological factors that drive collective action. Then the article considers how the Internet changes the nature of collective action and the context in which it takes place. Subsequently, it elaborates how these changes might affect the key factors previously identified. Finally, the article takes a step back from all this and returns to the question of whether this amounts to a revolution in the way collective actions take place.

Keywords: collective action; Internet; psychological factors; crowds; mediated communication

Article.  13745 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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