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Carla Roos awarded Jan Brouwer thesis award 2018

07 March 2018
Carla Roos

PhD Student Carla Roos (Social Psychology) has been awarded with the Jan Brouwer thesis award for Social Sciences 2018 for her thesis The Differences Between Online and Offline Communication. The Jan Brouwer-prize is award by the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen). She will receive the award and a cheque of 2000 euro on 20th April in Haarlem.

Summary thesis:

This study set out to develop and test a new procedure and methodology for uncovering the differences in style of expression between face-to-face and computer-mediated communication media that might help explain the seemingly higher conflict proneness of online interactions. 36 groups of three Dutch student participants discussed, in a repeated measures format, controversial statements via chat, video-chat and face-to-face. After each communication medium condition, participants filled out a questionnaire measuring their interactional experiences. Results show that, as compared to face-to-face interactions, discussing in computer-mediated communication led participants to experience less flow, understanding, solidarity, and more polarization. To explore the mechanisms underlying these findings, we exploratively coded the content of the interactions. We found that online communicators stated their opinions more forceful, made less fun, engaged less in searching for common understanding, and were somewhat more disagreeing than offline. These results point to the importance of conversational form in steering interactional outcomes. We conclude that it is possible to meaningfully manipulate, measure, and compare computer-mediated communication with face-to-face interactions.

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