Daryl Bem's self-perception theory posits that individuals develop their attitudes and beliefs by observing their own behavior and drawing inferences from it. According to this theory, when people are uncertain about their internal states, such as their attitudes or preferences, they rely on their own behavior as a source of information. By observing how they behave in certain situations, individuals make inferences about their own attitudes and attribute those attitudes to themselves. This process of self-perception plays a role in shaping self-concept and can influence future behaviors.
In the context of online communities, self-perception theory can shed light on how individuals form and express their opinions or attitudes. When participating in online discussions or engaging with content, individuals may observe their own behavior, such as the comments they make or the content they share. Based on this observation, they may form inferences about their own attitudes, values, or preferences. This can influence their future participation and interactions within the online community. Additionally, the self-perception of others' behavior can also impact how individuals perceive and respond to different viewpoints or arguments within the online community. Recognizing the role of self-perception in shaping attitudes and behaviors can help community members understand their own motivations and biases, fostering more mindful and reflective engagement within the online community.