Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (2.45 MB)

Online/Offline discrepancies in moral judgement among social media users: A mixed methods study

Download (2.45 MB)
posted on 2024-01-13, 04:28 authored by Benjamin Classen

Anti-social behaviour online remains a pervasive and persistent thorn in the side of social media platforms. Understanding what drives bad behaviour online is an important step towards responding to the issue, and calls for an interdisciplinary understanding of a range of complex and interrelated factors. Discrepancies in moral judgement between online and offline contexts is an example of one such factor which is well supported within the theoretical literature but remains relatively underexplored from an empirical perspective. This thesis addresses this gap in the literature using a mixed-methods, vignette-based approach spread across three studies. Overall, the findings of these three studies revealed that while some online/offline discrepancies in moral judgement do exist, these discrepancies tend to be highly context-specific, and generally limited in frequency and extent. A contrast between the quantitative and qualitative findings also highlighted some tension between empirical insight and theoretical/self-reported perspectives on this topic.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License


Degree Discipline

Media Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

130305 Technological ethics; 130304 Social ethics; 130399 Ethics not elsewhere classified

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

4 Experimental research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of English, Film, Theatre, Media Studies and Art History


Thompson, Peter; Buettner, Angi; Tennent, Emma