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Online Personalities in Building Social Relations

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 3532 words Published: 13th Apr 2018

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According to Gordon Allport (1935) attitude is an important concept in social psychology. He stated that the individual will experience confusion without attitude because attitude will determine what will be seen, heard, thought and done. Attitude can be defined as the measure of man’s social world, whether positive or negative aspects. Attitude is a general assessment of a man, including his own, objects and continuous nature of issues and involves a period of time (Petty & Capioppo, 1986). Typically, the attitude associated with the view, feeling, thought, belief, and the etc. Social psychologists assume that almost all of the cognitive and perceptual process involves the evaluation process. Jarvis & Petty (1996) mentioned, although people can judge something easily, it does not mean that they can assess spontaneously. Individuals require a rating scale that can make the difference in the tendency to evaluate an object.

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According to the schematic model, the attitude is seen as a thought that serves as a schema or set of ideas related to how it is organized and used again, just like the memory effects in mind. Therefore, as a scheme, it integrates all the components related to attitudes such as beliefs, emotions, physiological reactions, behavioural tendencies, and intentions. If seen from the schematic model, it is aligned with neurological network system molecules and other nervous system. Thus, the attitude is considered as something that exists in certain parts of the brain. Scheme is actually a cognitive structure or a mental framework for organizing and managing information in mind. It is an abstract representation of an object, thing or event we have experienced and it is located within the long-term memory. Mental framework is centred on specific themes related to people, things or objects, events or situations. Scheme to help us process information, and profoundly influenced the way we interpret things.

People schema is a cognitive structure that describes the of personality of others. Usually, it can be used to interpret individuals, specifically. Through it, individuals are able to understand others and create expectations about the particular individual behaviour. The present scheme is basically derived from our socialization agent. It is more abstract and focused on the relationship between normal personality trait known as Implicit Personality Theory, a set of assumptions that are not announced or secret, against any personality traits that communicate with each other. One of the schemes is to make use stereotype against someone from another group. Stereotype is a set of attribute characteristics to all members of the group or social category. Stereotyping leads us to think that all team members have specific attributes and simplify the complex social world.

However, sometimes it involves excessive generalizations to be formed prejudices. We often rely on common stereotypes, such the stereotype about the ethnic, racial groups, gender groups and the commonly held religious groups in our society.

Integration is a process for creating a national identity among the separate groups in terms of cultural, social, and location within a political unit. Meanwhile, solidarity can be understood as a process that unites all people and the country so that every community can build an identity and shared values and feelings of love and be proud of land (Shamsul Amri, 2007).

In history, a serious effort towards unity of Malaysia began sprouting seen after the onset of tragedy May 13, 1969 when the Council of National Unity and in line with the Ministry of National Unity was established. But actually work towards a common goal has started in the 1957 Independence Constitution. In this context the clauses in the Constitution that led to the use of Malay as the official language, the provisions of the implementation of national-type schools and the use of minority languages​​, has been articulated by Article 152 and 153, which we often refer to as a “social contract” between the leader-leaders of various ethnic groups dominant in Malaysia.

The reality in the contemporary context, the Malaysian Government policy of racial unity is friendly and tolerant. For an example, the issue of minority ethnic language. The language of ethnic minorities has not been sentenced but never used prohibited in any school in Malaysia, though the national schools. Even created is a national type schools by giving the right to ethnic minorities to use their mother tongue as the teaching language.

The New Age bulletin reported that there are 1.2 billion social networking users worldwide. According to socialbakers.com (a social media and digital analytics company), currently, there are 12457560 Facebook users in the Malaysia, which makes it number 17 in the ranking of all Facebook statistics by country. “The emergence and widespread global adoption of social networks has vastly influenced human interaction on an individual, community and larger societal level, and underscores the convergence of the online and offline worlds,” notes Linda Boland Abraham, comScore CMO and EVP of global development in the December 21 report, “Regardless of geography, social networks are weaving themselves ever more intricately into the fabric of the digital experience, opening a world of new opportunity for business and technology.” According to socialbakers.com (a social media and digital analytics company), currently, there are 12457560 Facebook users in the Malaysia, which makes it number 17 in the ranking of all Facebook statistics by country. Their social networking statistics show that Facebook penetration in Malaysia is 47.62% compared to the country’s population and 73.70% in relation to number of Internet users.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Malaysia is a multiracial and multicultural country. Thus, efforts to form a unity are has been a huge challenge since independence obtained for Malay Land. Although various efforts were taken to build national integration, however, Malaysia is still filled by the events of ethnic conflicts such as event management disputes of a Hindu temple and mosque in Kampung Rawa, Penang in 1998, and the tragedy of Kampung Medan in 2001. These events are indication that the issue of racial unity is not yet over.

In this effort, can be seen that there are elements of the approach taken by Malaysia government are quite different from the approach which is considered mainstream in the West. American and some European countries like Britain and France for example, using the concept of ‘melting pot’ or ‘mould smelters’ in their approach to integrate the various ethnic minorities, indigenous ethnic groups, and the dominant ethnic group in the country. During the melting process of ethnic minority cultures melted, digested, and even some fade away, blended in the culture of the dominant majority. However, in Malaysia we see the concept of ‘the mould smelters’ does not exist, but that there is a’ salad bowl ‘or’ a bowl of vegetables’ which do not melt any of the ethnic elements but unify skin colour and cultural diversity in an environment.

Perhaps it is time the authorities find other alternatives to resolve this integrity issue. One alternative that can serve as a choice is through social networking services such as facebook, twitter and so on. . I quote the words from The Chief Executive Officer of CyberSecurity Malaysia, Lt Col Prof Dato Husin Jazri, (Retired) spoke on issues about cyber safety; the establishment of social networks is unavoidable. Youths have always been the earliest adapters to new cultural trends, hence it is no surprise that social media has resonated with teens. What we can do is educate them on how to use new technology, like social networks, safely.

Therefore, I believe, it is time we looked at the use of social networking facilities in a more positive perspective. A study by Brendesha, M.T., Michael, T.G. & Geneene, N.T. (2008) has shown that the internet, particularly chat rooms and social networking sites, can be vital ally in multicultural education efforts.

1.3 Significance of Study

This study examines the complexities of augmented reality and online personality and its pertinent relations in social networking among diverse online communities in Malaysia. Social networks have been associated empirically with the online personality portrayed to the online communities. Through the development programmes of MdeC Malaysia, including the on-line community projects, questions arise on whether on-line networking will enhance, reinforce or modify the forms of social identity between online community members who differ in terms of ethnicity, class and gender.

It is envisaged that this study will provide useful information pertaining to online network patterns, policy makers who are looking at community integration and social integration theorists interested in social capital. More generally, the current study will address questions pertaining their social identities and personalities, particularly on the nature of information society or knowledge society in Malaysia.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Could augmented reality adequately simulate human personality within their social experiences?
  2. Could cognition influence personality in relation to ethnic-relations, social capitals and nationhood social identity?
  3. Is there are differences between the personalities portrayed in the augmented realities and personality featured in reality, particularly pertaining social identities and race representations?

1.5 Research Objectives

1.5.1 General Objective

This study aims to examine the complexities of online personality and its pertinent relations towards social relation within social networking services.

1.5.2 Specific Objectives

  1. To understand, in what ways do on-line communities work in the context of a multi-ethnic society.
  2. To examine, is there are differences between the personalities portrayed in the augmented realities and personality featured in reality, particularly pertaining social identities and race representations.
  3. To examine the current Malaysian ICT initiatives on promoting adequate augmented reality to simulate racially-integrated artificial personality within the 1Malaysia concepts of online and mobile social experiences.
  4. To ascertain the patterns of on-line networks and the contribution to shape the future of on-line communities within the context of social integration and national unity in Malaysia

1.6Theoretical Framework

Theory Of Reasoned Action (TRA) was developed in 1967. In the early of 1970s, the theory was revised and expanded by Ajzen and Fishbein. By 1980, TRA was used to study human behaviour and develop appropriate interventions. In 1988, Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was added to the existing model of reasoned action to address the inadequacies that Ajzen and Fishbein had identified through their research using TRA.

The theory states that attitude toward behaviour, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control, together shape an individual’s behavioural intentions and behaviours. The purpose of the theory of planned behavior is to predict and understand consumer behavior. According to the theory, a person’s behavior can be predicted by intention, which is predicted by the person’s attitude toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived control (Ajzen,1991). An attitude toward a behavior is defined as one’s positive or negative evaluation of the particular behaviour based on the person’s beliefs.

The key term for this theory are:-

  • Behavioral belief: an individual’s belief about consequences of particular behavior. The concept is based on the subjective probability that the behavior will produce a given outcome.
  • Attitude toward behavior: an individual’s positive or negative evaluation of self-performance of the particular behavior. The concept is the degree to which performance of the behavior is positively or negatively valued. It is determined by the total set of accessible behavioral beliefs linking the behavior to various outcomes and other attributes.
  • Normative belief: an individual’s perception about the particular behavior, which is influenced by the judgment of significant others (e.g., parents, spouse, friends, teachers).
  • Subjective norm: an individual’s perception of social normative pressures, or relevant others’ beliefs that he or she should or should not perform such behavior.
  • Perceived behavioral control: an individual’s perceived ease or difficulty of performing the particular behavior (Ajzen, 1988). It is assumed that perceived behavioral control is determined by the total set of accessible control beliefs.
  • Control beliefs: an individual’s beliefs about the presence of factors that may facilitate or impede performance of the behavior (Ajzen, 2001). The concept of perceived behavioral control is conceptually related to self-efficacy.
  • Behavioral intention: an indication of an individual’s readiness to perform a given behavior. It is assumed to be an immediate antecedent of behavior. It is based on attitude toward the behavior, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, with each predictor weighted for its importance in relation to the behavior and population of interest.
  • Behavior: an individual’s observable response in a given situation with respect to a given target. Ajzen said a behavior is a function of compatible intentions and perceptions of behavioral control in that perceived behavioral control is expected to moderate the effect of intention on behavior, such that a favorable intention produces the behavior only when perceived behavioral control is strong.

Diagram 1.1 : Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB)

The theory of planned behaviour is an appropriate theory to study the intention of the person to adopt positive social relation via online medium. The theory can be used to evaluate individual personality, their feelings about the social norm pressure, and the difficulty of achieving the desired behaviour.

1.7Conceptual Framework

Motivational Level Volitional Level

Diagram 1.2 : Conceptual Framework

1.8Definition of Terms

1.8.1Social networking facilities

Conceptual definition

Abbreviated as SNS asocialnetworkingsiteis the phrase used to describe anyWeb sitethat enables users to create public profiles within that Web site and form relationships with other users of the same Web site who access their profile. Social networking sites can be used to describe community-based Web sites, online discussions forums, chatrooms and other social spaces online. (http://www.webopedia.com)

Operational definition

Referring one of the platforms used by the online community, which is Facebook.

1.8.2Augmented personality

Conceptual definition

Augmented means to make greater in size or value. While personality referreing to the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character (http://oxforddictionaries.com)

Operational definition

Refer to the personality that being portrayed in cyberspace

1.8.3Social relation

Conceptual definition

Social relation refer to a multitude of social interactions, regulated bysocial norms, between two or more people, with each having a social position and performing asocial role. In sociological hierarchy, social relation is more advanced than behavior,action, social behavior,social action, social contact and social interaction. Social relations form the basis of concepts such associal organization, social structure, social movement andsocial system. (http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org)

Operational definition

Refer to the social interaction and relationship in cyberspace.

1.8.4Online community

Conceptual definition

A virtual community, also called online community is a group of people that interact through computer-mediated communication, mostly a website or portal that provides various channels for social networking.


Operational definition

Refer to a group of people who interact and share common interests, ideas, and feelings via Facebook.

1.9Research Limitation

This study is limited to Facebook users only whereas there are several other social networking services provided. There is a possibility that the distribution of respondents’ location is less comprehensive due to access to the internet.


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