Self-esteem, interpersonal risk, and preference for e-mail to face-to-face communication

Joinson, Adam N. (2004). Self-esteem, interpersonal risk, and preference for e-mail to face-to-face communication. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 7(4) pp. 472–478.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2004.7.472

Abstract

The media choices made by high and low self-esteem Internet users were studied using webbased methodology (n = 265). Participants were asked to rank four media (face-to-face, e-mail, letter, and telephone) in order of preference across four different communication scenarios designed to pose an interpersonal risk. The level of interpersonal risk posed by two of the scenarios (asking for a pay rise and asking for a date) were also experimentally manipulated by randomly allocating participants to a 25%, 50%, or 75% chance of rejection. Low selfesteem users (LSE) showed a significant preference toward e-mail communication compared to high self-esteem users (HSE). This pattern was reversed for face-to-face preferences. Similarly, a greater chance of rejection in a scenario led to e-mail being preferred to face-to-face communication. The results are discussed in light of both the strategic use of different media and the motivated Internet user

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