Self-Disclosure in Virtual Relationships

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  • Created on: 10-06-22 15:26
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  • Self-Disclosure in Virtual Relationships
    • Reduced Cues
      • Sproull and Kiesler (1986) suggested that online relationships might be less open and honest than face-to-face ones,
        • In real life we rely on subtle cues, such as facial expressions and tone of voice; these cues are absent in virtual communications
      • Reduction in communication cues leads to de-individuation because it diminishes people's feelings of individual identity.
        • brings on behaviours that people usually restrain themselves from displaying in face-to-face interactions, such as aggression.
          • consequence of this is less self-disclosure from other people, as they fear becoming the victim of verbal violence.
    • The Hyperpersonal Model
      • Walther (1996, 2011) suggested that, as self disclosure in online relationships happens earlier than in face-to-face ones, relationships quickly become more intense and feel more intimate and meaningful.
        • because it is easier to manipulate self-disclosure online than face-to-face. Participants in online conversation have more time to 'edit' their responses to present themselves in a more positive light
          • 'selective self-presentation'. Projecting a positive image will then make an online partner want to disclose more personal information, increasing the intensity and feelings of intimacy towards the relationship.
      • P - An issue with studying virtual relationship in social media is that it is affected by changes in a fast-paced society.
        • E - Most of the research examining virtual relationships was conducted in the late 1990s and early 2000s. As technology is changing rapidly, so is the nature of online relationships.
          • E - Therefore, psychological research in this area risks becoming outdated by the time it is published.
            • L - This lowers the temporal validity of research into online relationships and means that the findings into virtual relationships may not necessarily apply to the current situation.
      • P - Research into virtual relationships is based on the experiences of mainly Western, technologically developed cultures.
        • E - Internet technology is not readily available in some countries, so the conclusions about the development and effects of virtual communication on romantic relationships cannot be applied to them.
          • E - There are also important gender differences in virtual relationships as women tended to rate their relationships formed online as more intimate, and valued self-disclosure, more highly than men.
            • L - This lowers the validity of research into virtual relationships, limiting the range of relationships it explains.
      • P - Research supporting increased self-disclosure in virtual relationships was conducted by Joinson (2001)
        • E - Partitipants were paird and ask to discuss an abstract dilemma either face-to-face or using a computer chat programme.
          • E - They found participants in the computer condition showed significantly more self-disclosure than the face-to-face participants.
            • L - People disclose more about themselves when communicating via computer than they do face to face. Supporting the Hyperpersonal model of self-disclosure.
      • P - Virtual communication can also be used by established couples to increase feelings of closeness.
        • E - Lenhart and Duggan (2014) studied Americans in long-term relationships and found that 25% of participants had texted their partners when they were, in fact, at home together at the time.
          • E -Furthermore, 21% of those surveyed about their mobile phone use said that it had helped them to feel closer to their partner, especially in instances where they had a disagreement to resolve.
            • L - This means that relationships in real life can be affected positively by virtual Communications between the two partners.
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