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Computer-mediated communication and interpersonal attraction: an experimental test of two explanatory hypotheses.
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.
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. M.L.Antheunis@uva.nl,
Pub Type(s)Comparative Study