Put simply, CMC is human communication through the medium of a computer. The communication can occur via a variety of means including email, instant messenger, mail forums, video, blogs and more recently, virtual worlds.
American psychologist James Jerome Gibson was influential in changing the way we consider visual perception. According to his theory, perception of the environment inevitably leads to some course of action. Affordances, or clues in the environment that indicate possibilities for action, are perceived in a direct, immediate way with no sensory processing. Examples include: buttons for pushing, knobs for turning, handles for pulling, levers for sliding, etc.
This week <br />What is Communication ?<br />The application of Communication theory to virtual environments<br />Variables that affect communication in computer mediated environments<br />Grounding<br />Constraints and Affordances<br />Gender<br />Cultural variances<br />On- and off-line effects of avatar appearance<br />
What is Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)<br />Main areas of research in relation to communication include the effects of:<br />The absence of social context cues (i.e. Body language, facial expressions)<br />Anonymity<br />Gender and culture<br />Published in The New Yorker September 12, 2005<br />
Shannon-Weaver Model applied to a Virtual World<br />Source (person at the keyboard) consciously or unconsciously transmits a message<br />Culture, language, gender etc<br />Message is encoded according to internal and external variables e.g. avatar modification, environmental modification, choice of text or speech<br />The Avatar is the channel/medium through which the message is transmitted<br />Lag, audio problems<br />Sending and receiving can be hindered by noise<br />The receiver needs to be able to decode (understand) the message<br />
Grounding<br />Factors that may have an effect on grounding<br />Simultaneity<br />Sequentiality<br />Reviewability<br />Revisability<br />Co-presence<br />Visibility<br />Audibility<br />Contemporality<br />CLARK, H. & BRENNAN, S. 1991. Grounding in Communication. In: RESNICK, L. B., LEVINE, J. M. & TEASLEY, S. D. (eds.) Perspectives on socially shared cognition. Washington: American Psychological Association.<br />
Seven Media and Their Associated Constraints<br />Adapted from - CLARK, H. & BRENNAN, S. 1991. Grounding in Communication. In: RESNICK, L. B., LEVINE, J. M. & TEASLEY, S. D. (eds.) Perspectives on socially shared cognition. Washington: American Psychological Association.<br />
Noise<br />DEVITO, J. A. 2007. The interpersonal communication book, Boston, Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.<br />
Affordances<br />Affordance Theory – J.J Gibson<br />Perception of the environment leads to some course of action<br />Affordances of VWs which affect communication include:<br />the ability to use and/or make Gestures<br />the ability and extent to which an avatars appearance can be customised<br />the extent to which an avatar can be animated<br />and whether the environment uses text, speech or a mixture of the two<br />http://www.learning-theories.com/affordance-theory-gibson.html<br />
Culture and CMC<br />Cultures may draw on different channels of communication for conversational grounding<br />Cultures may differ in interactional goals, making different media more or less appropriate<br />Understanding interactions between culture and CMC is important for:<br />• Building theories of collaborative technologies<br />• Designing tools for global distribution and/or cross-cultural communication<br />http://www.engr.udayton.edu/faculty/wsmari/cts06/CTS2006%20Lucheon%20-%20Notes.pdf<br />
Cultural Variances and Variables<br />PDI = Power Distance<br />IDV = Individualism<br />MAS = Masculinity<br />UAI = Uncertainty Avoidance Index<br />LTO = Long-Term Orientation<br />http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_australia.shtml<br />
Other Cultural Factors<br />Context<br />The extent to which information is made explicit or is assumed<br />High-context culture<br />Proxemics<br />Clothing<br />Emotes<br />http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8199951.stm<br />JACK, R. E., BLAIS, C., SCHEEPERS, C., SCHYNS, P. G., & CALDARA, R. (2008) Cultural Confusions Show Facial Expressions are Not Universal Current Biology, (in press)<br />
Disinhibition<br />The freedom afforded by virtual environments along with diminished visual and auditory clues and the narrow bandwidth of communication can result in a state of, what has been described as disinhibition (Joinson, 2003)<br />
Gender<br /><ul><li>Major reason women present as men in online environments is so they won’t get hassled
Main reason men present as women is because they feel people are nicer to them and more likely to give them things (Bruckman, 1993).
Gendered communication styles carry over into virtual environments
Anonymity or pseudo anonymity of virtual environments results in increased assertiveness for many women (Rodino, 1997).
Voice presents a challenge for those who are presenting in the environment as a different gender or who prefer to present as gender neutral. </li></li></ul><li>On- and Offline Effects of Avatar Appearance<br />Creating an avatar is an act of visual communication<br />What does YOUR avatar say about you? <br />Inworld appearance can impact real life behaviour<br />
More Information<br />CMC general<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0Mgxhqfdyg<br />Animations and gestures<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WplYhxyFd3M<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WKo4G8aQBc<br />A list of references of the sources used in this presentation can be found in this weeks folder.<br />
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