In “How the Medium Shapes the Message”, Jonah Berger and Raghuram Iyenger argue that the medium through which consumers communicate influences how they communicate. Furthermore, it is discussed how these mediums are changing communication and what each medium has in comparison to each other.
The first point made is that modality(talk vs. text) carries a lot of weight in communication due to the duration of mental processing. When talking about a textual modality, Rettie suggests, “its asynchrony provides thinking time, enabling interactants to choose their words carefully rather than responding impetuously.” This point is backed up by case study 1 because it shows that by adding a pause before speaking, people tend to talk about more interesting concepts. A second point made indicates that how you present yourself changes the way communication is done. This was testing by telling participants that their personalities will be evaluated after each conversation. The results of this showed that oral participants did not enhance their personality, but written participants did by nearly 20%.
The argument made in this paper does seem to have a very valid base, however; the number of participants, 186, is concerning because 186 people are not enough to back up the results made in the paper. Aside from this, the design of the studies was well thought out and the results were well-argued against from multiple perspectives, which make them have a higher degree of robustness and is helpful given the low participant amount. One aspect that wasn’t considered, however, had to do with the demographics of the participants which is important to touch on given the low amount because it helps address bias in the set, for example, if half the group had to write and talk in a non-native language, then the results would certainly be skewed.