Theories of CMC - University of Texas at Dallas

Theories of CMC - University of Texas at Dallas

Theories of CMC Deficit Approaches and Models Impersonal Perspective Social Presence Theory Social Context Cues Theory Cuelessness Model

Media Richness Model Response to Deficit/Impersonal SIDE Model SIP Model Social Presence Theory

Degree to which we as individuals perceive another as a real person and any interaction between the two as a relationship Different media convey different degrees of perceived substance to an interaction Internet not functional alternative to FtF

rather specialized channel People prefer FtF to meet most communication needs Social Context Cues Theory Social context cues are indicators of appropriate behavior. Some social cues include geographic, organizational, and situational

variables. Lack of social cues affects on the nature of human behavior in mediated contexts (Wood and Smith 81). Cuelessness Model Absence of all nonverbal cues and identity markers (e.g., status,

occupational role) Psychological distance increases resulting in more impersonal communication (Criticism) High in cuelessness can still be psychologically close (Thurlow, Lengel, and Tomic 49) Media Richness Model Richness determined by:

Bandwidth or ability to transmit multiple cues Ability to give immediate feedback Ability to support the use of natural or conversational language Its personal focus (Thurlow 49) More complex the task the richer the medium necessary (rich medium =

telephone or FtF communication) Reduced Social Cues (RSC) Model Reduced social cues makes interactions between people much more difficult to manage Conversation becomes less fluid, less easily regulated and more effortful (Thurlow 61)

CMC undermines social norms and influences (Thurlow 61) SIDE Model Social identification/deindividuation People online rely even more on

group-based discriminators. Users adopt norms (accepted social behaviors). Anonymity fosters stronger SIDE effects toward group mentality. Anonymity encourages stronger selfcategorization. Social Information Processing Model (SIP)

Need for social bonding is the same in CMC as it is in FtF communication (communication imperative) People can compensate for loss of non-verbal cues in CMC. Relational and contextual factors can enhance interpersonal nature of CMC (Thurlow 51) Social Influence Model Media use results from negotiation

between features of medium and social conditions (Wood and Smith 97) Example: flaming both behavior and interpretation of behavior Thurlow, Crispin, Lengel, Laura, and Tomic, Alice. Computer Mediated Communication: Social Interaction and the Internet. Sage Publications, 2005. Wood, Andrew F. and Matthew J. Smith. Online Communication: Linking Technology, Identity, and Culture. Second Edition. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005. Chapter 4, Relating Online (78-100)

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