International Association of CyberPsychology, Training, and Rehabilitation

A Proposal for the Resolution of an Internet Research Conundrum

Early metaphors to describe the internet painted a picture of a lawless frontier
where entrepreneurial, aggressive and adventurous settlers could stake out a
claim and reap the bounty. Howard Rheingold (1993), wrote of “imaginary” space
and “virtual” communities in his classic work The Virtual Community:
Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. It was he that first ascribed the term
‘virtual’ to activities on the Internet.

Does the construct of “virtual” color the observations of scientists and scholars by
suggesting that behavior in netspace is different from or possesses significant
differences from that which occurs in milieus other than the Internet. As
Benjamin Whorf suggests, “an accepted pattern of using words is often prior to
certain lines of thinking and forms of behavior.” Or as Sapir (1929) suggests that
the, “Language habits of our communities predispose certain choices of
interpretation.” Read More........


W. Reid Cornwell Ph.D.
Director /Chief Scientist
The Center for Internet Research

Jonathan R. Cornwell
Social Science - Editor
The Center for Internet Research

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I am sad that no one has replied to this post as of yet. When I am able, I would love to post my reactions as I am doing my Master's thesis on "virtual environments."

Trevor, I look forward to your observations and comments! I already agree that it is a shame there has been no discussion. :-)

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