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Proceedings Paper

Virtual collaboration: face-to-face versus videoconference, audioconference, and computer-mediated communications
Author(s): Lynne Wainfan; Paul K. Davis
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Paper Abstract

As we increase our reliance on mediated communication, it is important to be aware the media's influence on group processes and outcomes. A review of 40+ years of research shows that all media-videoconference, audioconference, and computer-mediated communication--change the context of the communication to some extent, reducing cues used to regulate and understand conversation, indicate participants' power and status, and move the group towards agreement. Text-based computer-mediated communication, the “leanest” medum, reduces status effects, domination, and consensus. This has been shown useful in broadening the range of inputs and ideas. However, it has also been shown to increase polarization, deindividuation, and disinhibition, and the time to reach a conclusion. For decision-making tasks, computer-mediated communication can increase choice shift and the likelihood of more risky or extreme decisions. In both videoconference and audioconference, participants cooperate less with linked collaborators, and shift their opinions toward extreme options, compared with face-to-face collaboration. In videoconference and audioconference, local coalitions can form where participants tend to agree more with those in the same room than those on the other end of the line. There is also a tendency in audioconference to disagree with those on the other end of the phone. This paper is a summary of a much more extensive forthcoming report; it reviews the research literature and proposes strategies to leverage the benefits of mediated communication while mitigating its adverse effects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 August 2004
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 5423, Enabling Technologies for Simulation Science VIII, (13 August 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.547427
Show Author Affiliations
Lynne Wainfan, RAND Corp. (United States)
Paul K. Davis, RAND Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5423:
Enabling Technologies for Simulation Science VIII
Dawn A. Trevisani; Alex F. Sisti, Editor(s)

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