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Computer-mediated communication and interpersonal attraction: an experimental test of two explanatory hypotheses.

Abstract

The aims of this study were (a) to investigate the influence of computer-mediated communication (CMC) on interpersonal attraction and (b) to examine two underlying processes in the CMC-interpersonal attraction relationship. We identified two variables that may mediate the influence of CMC on interpersonal attraction: self-disclosure and direct questioning. Focusing on these potential mediating variables, we tested two explanatory hypotheses: the CMC-induced direct questioning hypothesis and the CMC-induced self-disclosure hypothesis. Eighty-one cross-sex dyads were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: text-only CMC, visual CMC, and face-to-face communication. We did not find a direct effect of CMC on interpersonal attraction. However, we did find two positive indirect effects of text-only CMC on interpersonal attraction: text-only CMC stimulated both self-disclosure and direct questioning, both of which in turn enhanced interpersonal attraction. Results are discussed in light of uncertainty reduction theory and CMC theories.

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  • Authors

    Antheunis ML, Valkenburg PM, Peter J

    Source

    Cyberpsychology & behavior : the impact of the Internet, multimedia and virtual reality on behavior and society 10:6 2007 Dec pg 831-5

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Communication
    Female
    Humans
    Internet
    Interpersonal Relations
    Male
    Psychological Theory
    Self Concept
    Self Disclosure
    Sexual Behavior
    Social Distance

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    18085973