Self-disclosure in computer-mediated communication: The role of self-awareness and visual anonymity

Joinson, Adam N. (2001). Self-disclosure in computer-mediated communication: The role of self-awareness and visual anonymity. European Journal of Social Psychology, 31(2) pp. 177–192.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.36

Abstract

Three studies examined the notion that computer mediated communication (CMC) can be characterised by high levels of self-disclosure. In Study one, significantly higher levels of spontaneous self-disclosure were found in computer-mediated compared to face-to-face discussions. Study two examined the role of visual anonymity in encouraging self-disclosure during CMC. Visually anonymous participants disclosed significantly more information about themselves than non-visually anonymous participants. In Study three, private and public self-awareness were independently manipulated, using videoconferencing cameras and accountability cues, to create a 2x2 design (public
self-awareness (high and low) x private self-awareness (high and low). It was found that heightened private self-awareness, when combined with reduced public self-awareness, was associated with significantly higher levels of spontaneous self-disclosure during computer-mediated communication.

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