- An experimental test of processes underlying self-disclosure in computer-mediated communication
- Volume | Issue number
- 3 | 2
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
A consistent finding in computer-mediated communication (CMC) and Internet research is that, compared to face-toface communication, CMC results in higher levels of self-disclosure. We identified four possible mediators that may carry the influence of CMC on self-disclosure: self-presentation, similarity, self-awareness, and direct questioning. The
validity of these mediators was tested in an experiment in which 81 cross-sex dyads were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions: a text-only CMC condition, a visual CMC condition, and a face-to-face condition. Selfdisclosure was lower in the face-to-face condition than in the text-only CMC condition and the visual CMC condition. Between the two CMC conditions, no differences in self-disclosure were found. Of the four possible mediators, only direct questioning mediated the effect of CMC on self-disclosure. CMC dyads engaged in more direct questioning and therefore displayed higher levels of self-disclosure.
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