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The Impacts of Gender and Initial Social Activities on Trust and Performance in CMC

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Title: The Impacts of Gender and Initial Social Activities on Trust and Performance in CMC
Author(s): Sun, Xiaoning
Subject(s): Gender computer-mediated communication trust Instant Messaging
Abstract: In recent years HCI researchers have made significant progress in understanding how different communication media influence people’s trust perceptions and task performance in virtual environments [1, 5]. In this research little attention has been paid to the effects of gender differences in communication in virtual environments. However, there is good reason to investigate the role of gender, given research in the discipline of communication studies that has shown gender effects in face-to-face and virtual communications. In communication studies, gender analyses have focused on patterns of communication involving status, power, and influence [3]. By contrast, this research aims to bring the gender factor into computer-mediated communication (CMC) from an HCI perspective, responding to central concerns of efficiency, effectiveness, and user perceptions. The primary objective of this research is to explore gender differences in synchronous computer-mediated communication with and without initial social activities. In particular, I ask whether initial social activities affect trust development and performance of male and female pairs in a social dilemma game. To this end, the research questions for this study are: 1) How does gender influence people’s trust development over multi-trials of a competitive task via the IM System? 2) How effectively does pre-task activity, i.e. social chat, help different gender pairings achieve higher levels of trust and better performance over multi-trials of a competitive task? 3) Is there a larger benefit of pre-task activity for males, who tend to be less trusting [4], than for females in doing a task which involves conflicts of interest? If the answer is YES, do males achieve the same level of trust as females? 4) Qualitatively, how do different gender pairings use language to communicate via the IM System and how does their language affect trust? In order to get answers for these questions, I measure three dependent variables: participants’ post-task trust, participants’ performance and behaviors during the task and the pairs’ communication processes.
Issue Date: 2008-02-28
Genre: Conference Poster
Type: Text
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-03-09

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