The effects of electronic interactions on group and individual communication processes

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Authors: Taylor, J. and Macdonald, J.

Journal: Journal of Intelligent Systems

Volume: 4

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 113-132

eISSN: 2191-026X

ISSN: 0334-1860

DOI: 10.1515/JISYS.1994.4.1-2.113

This research is an investigation of computer-mediated communication (CMC) systems, in particular the way that task characteristics and e-mail structure affect inter-personal communication processes. Previous research has implicated the concept of de-individuation to explain some of the phenomena observed when e-mail is used, for example uninhibited and anti-normative behaviour. The study reported here extends these findings by considering the impact of technology on the communication process over time. Measures of communication activity were taken at intervals during an e-mail discussion period which allowed analysis of changes in interpersonal communication, particularly flaming and self-disclosure. The data showed a number of significant effects on the level of communication and the content of communications dependent on how identifiable the discussants were. The data is discussed in terms of the sequences of group development identified in traditional face-to-face gorup communications. © 1994, Walter de Gruyter. All rights reserved.

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