The impact of anonymity on perceptions of source credibility and influence in computer-mediated group communication: A test of two competing hypotheses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

As scholars and practitioners have endeavored to develop computer-based tools that foster effective communication and collaboration in groups, anonymity has played a key role. Anonymity purportedly minimizes status differences, liberates team members from a fear of retribution, and makes members feel more comfortable contributing to discussions. Yet these benefits may be outweighed by the impact of anonymity on receiver perceptions and behavior. Two competing hypotheses, drawn from adaptive structuration theory, were tested in this study to determine the impact of anonymity on receiver perceptions of sources and messages in computer-mediated group communication. The results of the multilevel models offer evidence in support of the discounting hypothesis and suggest that anonymity provided by electronic meeting systems may undermine source credibility and influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-125
Number of pages26
JournalCommunication Research
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Adaptive structuration theory
  • Anonymity
  • Anonymous communication
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Credibility
  • Decision making
  • Electronic meeting system
  • Group communication
  • Group support system
  • Social influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of anonymity on perceptions of source credibility and influence in computer-mediated group communication: A test of two competing hypotheses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this