Dr Chris Fullwood – Online Self-Presentation

Dr Chris Fullwood – Online Self-Presentation

In this episode, Chris tells us about self-perception, how we present ourselves online, how others perceive us, and the unconscious bias we have towards others in video calls. We specifically talk about:

00:45 Chris’s journey into CyberPsychology including completing a PhD in Video Mediated Communication in the late-1990s.

08:19 How video calls affect our self-perception, how our video call behaviour and expectations have changed over time, and why we have an unconscious bias towards those we talk to in a video call versus in-person conversations.

12:18 The cognitive demands that video conferencing has on the listener of a video call and the Equilibrium Theory around intimacy and physical distance.

16:02 The potential for people to be more open in online counselling and therefore hypothetically make it more effective than in-person counselling.

18:00 Being one of the four founding members of the BPS CyberPsychology Section and gaining acceptance of the discipline in the world of Psychology in the UK.

23:53 Chris’s development of the Presentation of Online-Self (PoS) scale, that measures: The Idealised Self, The Multiple Self, The Consistent Self and Online Presentation Preference. We touch on how this measure is related to other psychological theories such as Self-Concept Clarity and impression management.

32:48 How we build a perception, or understanding, of who we are as individuals and the Self-Perception Theory.

34:58 If spending excess time online influences our self-perception.

38:24 How we present ourselves in a 2D or 3D online context and an explanation of the Proteus Effect when inhabiting an avatar in video games or virtual reality.

42:50 The difference between the presentation of CyberPsychology ideas through academic writing, publishing and lecturing.

50:65 Chris’s current book and research project on AI and its impact on those in the creative industry – from a psychological perspective.

55:17 What undergrad and postgrad programmes Birmingham City University offer. https://www.bcu.ac.uk/social-sciences/courses

59:19 Applying for a PhD at BCU and getting in touch with Chris Chris.Fullwood@bcu.ac.uk or https://www.bcu.ac.uk/social-sciences/about-us/staff/psychology/chris-fullwood.

01:00:12 What the future of CyberPsychology may look like and what is needed to continue to build awareness of the discipline in the UK.

01:07:52 The (non)accuracy of media representation and reporting of cyberpsychology academic research findings.

01:12:00 The CyberPsychology book he recommends:

  • Stranger in the Mirror by Robert V. Levine – a scientific understanding of where our sense of self comes from.
  • The Oxford Handbook of CyberPsychology – a basic principles book of CyberPsychology.

Senior Lecturer

in the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University (UK)

Dr Fullwood is one of the founding members of the British Psychological Society’s Cyberpsychology section and was part of the working group tasked with updating the BPS’s Internet Mediated Research guidelines in 2020.

Main CyberPsychology Expertise:
  • How we manage the impressions of others within various online spaces (e.g., online dating, social media), a
  • The ramifications of more unconstrained self-presentation, e.g on the impressions that others form of us as well as our own self-perceptions. 
Other Specialisations

Digital inclusion and the empowerment of individuals with intellectual disabilities.


Email him directly at: chris.fullwood@bcu.ac.uk

Chris is also a Supervisor to PhD students.