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Social Influence and Computer Mediated Communication

Social Influence and Computer Mediated Communication
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Author(s): Bradley M. Okdie (The University of Alabama, USA) and Rosanna E. Guadagno (The University of Alabama, USA)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 15
Source title: Handbook of Research on Computer Mediated Communication
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sigrid Kelsey (Louisiana State University, USA) and Kirk St.Amant (East Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch035

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Abstract

This chapter examines contemporary research in computer-mediated communication (CMC) with regard to a specific question: How does attempting to influence individuals via CMC affect the social influence process? Over the past 15 years, the use of the Internet has shifted from an exhaustive information store, to another means with which to create and maintain group and individual social relationships (Postmes, Spears, & Lea, 2002). As a result, individuals engage in social influence via CMC. This chapter focuses on persuasion via instant messaging (synchronous text-based CMC) and e-mail (asynchronous text-based CMC) from two theoretical perspectives: dynamic social impact theory (Latané, 1996) and social role theory (Eagly, 1987). The findings of these two lines of research speak to the differences in the persuasion process when using CMC as well as individual differences such as gender of the interactants. Implications for research on computer mediated communication and social influence are discussed.

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