Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Psychology Dept.


Tarja Raag


Three studies were conducted to understand the relationship between honesty and hostility in public and private online settings. Study one analyzed a college’s public and private online forums and examined post frequency. Related to study one, study two examined the usage of these forums, and current and past social and political issues. Study one found the public forum comprised of general announcements, while the private forum hosted random jokes/statements, negative posts targeting specific people, and personal reflections. Study two’s results indicated the private forum was used more often than the public forum and race was the prevailing social and political issue across time. The third study was developed with a survey where participants had to label 30 statements about race as conservative, liberal, or unclear. Six statements emerged, three as liberal and three as conservative, and were implemented into study three. In study three, participants were told they would be partaking in a speech chat about race with another participant. The chat setting and political condition were manipulated. These results suggested participants were more agreeable in the liberal condition, more agreeable in the public condition, and more hostile in the private condition.


Honesty, Hostility, Cyberpsychology, Yik Yak, Public, Private