Computer Mediated Communication – Talia Feinberg

In a study conducted by 3 researchers of Carnegie Mellon University, the impacts of communication via computers or via face-to-face interaction was studied. Interestingly enough, this was done in 1984; when technology was incredibly different than it is now. It is surprising that terminology such as computer mediated communication was even around at this time, let alone having had research done on it already. 

The study followed communication efficiency, participation, interpersonal behavior, and group choice amongst three different groups ranging from face to face communication to CMC. Through the study, it became clear that whether the group was using a computer or not had serious implications for these categories. Communication efficiency lacked in computer mediated communication, yet participation, group choice, and interpersonal behavior thrived in this realm. The study made it clear that there are certainly pros and cons to each form of communication. 

It is remarkable that this study was done so early into technological advancements: “these unanswered examples illustrate that, although the technology may be impressive, little systematic research exists on its psychological, social, and cultural significance.” It would be interesting to see if this exact same study was conducted in the present to see if there are any changes as humans are evolving with technological advancements. 

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