CMN 172 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Availability Heuristic, Confirmation Bias, Egocentrism

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Computer-Mediated Communication
CMN 172 Winter 2016
Psychological processes (cognitive misers, availability heuristic, confirmation bias).
o People are cognitive misers: People save time and mental effort when forming
impressions.
o Availability heuristic: Opinions are biased towards latest information and immediate
examples.
o Confirmation bias: People seek opinion-congruent information and disregard opinion-
incongruent information.
Cues-filtered out theories (CFO): Social presence, lack of social context cues. Supporting
evidence: Email miscommunication and egocentrism. Be ready to summarize the main
assumptions and findings of Kruger, Epley, Parker, & Ng (2005).
o Social Presence Theory:
Media differ in bandwidth, or the amount of information they transmit (FtF >
CMC).
Greater bandwidth allows for more salience of communicators.
Prediction:Text-based media use will lead to less defined impressions in
comparison to FtF.
o Reduced Social Context Clues
Low bandwidth increases perceived anonymity and self-focus.
Anonymity and self-focus can lead to hostile, uninhibited behavior (e.g.,
trolling, flaming).
Prediction: Text-based media use can lead to more negative impressions in
comparison to FtF.
o Email lacks nonverbal information.
This feature coupled with human egocentrism explains email
miscommunication.
o Egocentrism
“People use themselves as a reference point when making sense of others
and/or predicting partner’s responses.”
People are generally aware of what they intend to convey, but what is obvious
to the sender is not necessarily apparent to receivers.
o Kruger assumptions / findings
Assumptions:
Implications:
Email’s lack of nonverbal cues and sender’s egocentrism may explain
email miscommunication.
Practical implications: making people aware that email messages are not
univocal, reduced sender overconfidence (ex: empathy and perspective-
taking)
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Social information processing theory (SIP) and the Hyperpersonal model and supporting
evidence [Walther 1993; Hancock and Dunham, 2001: The breadth and intensity of
impressions; Peña, Walther, & Hancock, 2007: Perceived dominance in virtual teams].
o Social Information Procession Theory-
People are motivated to relate to one another (e.g., to reduce uncertainty, to
form relationships).
Though CMC has fewer cues than FtF, people will employ any cue to form
impressions (e.g., texting).
Transmitting social information through text-based media takes more time than
in FtF. Thus forming impressions takes more time in text-based CMC.
Over time, text messsages accumulate and you get the idea that you get
to know this person even better. The assumption here is that no matter
what techonlogy people employ (ex: texts, sending laetters) if you give
people enoguh time, people think that they know person
Prediction: forming impressions takes longer in CMC. Over time, CMC
impressions will approximate FtF impressions as people get to know each other.
o Hyperpersonal Model
CMC allows people to strategically present the self.
CMC allows people to reallocate cognitive resources to composing messages.
CMC fosters behavioral confirmation processes (self-fulfilling prophecy).
Relational development over time (from SIP).
Prediction: CMC use can lead to more exaggereated impressions in comparison
to FtF encounters.
Results:
Breadth: CMC < FtF
Intesity: CMC>FtF
o Dominance Perceptions in Virtual Teams
Teams with less extreme dominance ratings experienced more interpersonal
attraction
Teams with less extreme dominance ratings experienced more group
cohesiveness
o Implications
Impression formation in CMC involves traditional psychological mechanisms
and channel effects.
CMC affects information bandwidth, rate of impression formation, and
intensity of impressions.
These dynamics occur in social and task-oriented CMC interactions.
Assimilation, contrast, and negativity effects related to friend’s physical appearance and positive
vs. negative FB wall comments. Double standards when judging negative information in male
vs. female FB profiles. Negativity effects and ratemyprofessor.com reviews.
o Negativity Effect-
When forming impressions, negative information trumps positive information.
Negative information may be anti normative, uncommon, and thus more
informative.
People generally try to cause positive impressions.
The negativity effect plays a key role when people are expected to self- present
more positively (ex: dating sites, FB, job interview)
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o Assimilation and Contrast Effects Results
Physically attractive FB friends will raise profile owner’s ratings of perceived
physical attractiveness.
Physically unattractive FB friends will lower profile owner’s ratings of perceived
physical attractiveness.
Why? Assimilation effects.
Negative FB wall comments will have stronger effects than positive comments,
especially if negative.
Why? The negativity effect.
o Implications
Source of information affects online impressions (self vs others)
Negative information has strong and reliable effects on online impressions
Facebook friends’ physical appearance can lead to assimilation effects and thus
influence observer’s perceptions of profile owners.
Keeping negative wall posts in one’s profile can have undesirable consequences.
Be aware of gender double standards.
Warranting theory: Definition and supporting evidence (self vs. other comments on FB,
restaurant reviews). Warranting effects as discussed in the Hall and Pennington reading
(warrant credibility, warrant value, and warrant diagnosticity). Big five personality traits (i.e.,
neuroticism (aka. emotional stability), extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness).
Humor and narcissism findings. Definitions, and how all of these factors played out in Hall &
Pennington’s study.
o Warranting: the capacity to connect an online persona to a person in the real world.
o Self vs other Comments on FB study Results:
Other-generated comments had stronger effects than self-generated
comments.
When the FB profile described the target as introverted, friends posts to
the contrary increased observer’s perceptions of extraversion.
When the FB profile described the target as extraverted, friends posts to
the contrary decreased observer’s perceptions about extraversion.
o Yelp review results
Participants in the restaurant website condition reported condition reported that
the restaurant had more control over the reviews.
The more the participants perceived the restaurant to be in control the reviews,
the more negatively they rated the restaruarnt and the lower the likelihood that
they would recommend the restaurant to others.
o Warranting Effects
Warrant credibility: information that is harder to manipulate is more
trustworthy.
Warrant value: degree to which information influences impressions.
Warrant diagnosticity: cues used to judge a person actually match the target’s
personality.
o 5 Personality Traits
Openness: once I find the right way to do something, I stick to it (ex: low
openness)
Conscientiousness: I am not a very methodical person (ex: low consciousnesss)
Extraversion: I like to have a lot of people around me (ex: high extraversion)
Agreeableness: some people think im selfish and egostistical (ex: low
agreeableness)
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Document Summary

Be ready to summarize the main assumptions and findings of kruger, epley, parker, & ng (2005): social presence theory, media differ in bandwidth, or the amount of information they transmit (ftf > Cmc): greater bandwidth allows for more salience of communicators, prediction:text-based media use will lead to less defined impressions in comparison to ftf, reduced social context clues, low bandwidth increases perceived anonymity and self-focus. Implications: email"s lack of nonverbal cues and sender"s egocentrism may explain email miscommunication. Practical implications: making people aware that email messages are not univocal, reduced sender overconfidence (ex: empathy and perspective- taking) Though cmc has fewer cues than ftf, people will employ any cue to form impressions (e. g. , texting). Transmitting social information through text-based media takes more time than in ftf. Thus forming impressions takes more time in text-based cmc: over time, text messsages accumulate and you get the idea that you get to know this person even better.

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