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The Sociocognitive Psychology of Computer-Mediated Communication: The Present and Future of Technology-Based Interactions

By Giuseppe Riva


The increased diffusion of the Internet has made computer-mediated communication (CMC) very popular. However, a difficult question arises for psychologists and communication researchers: “What are the communicative characteristics of CMC?” According to the “cues-filtered-out” approach, CMC lacks the specifically relational features (social cues), which enable the interlocutors to identify correctly the kind of interpersonal situations they find themselves in. This paper counters this vision by integrating in its theoretical frame the different psycho-social approaches available in current literature. In particular, the paper describes the characteristics of the socio-cognitive processes—emotional expression, context definition, and identity creation—used by the interlocutors to make order and create relationships out of the miscommunication processes typical of CMC. Moreover, it presents the emerging forms of CMC—instant messaging, shared hypermedia, weblogs, and graphical chats—and their possible social and communicative effects

Year: 2002
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