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Trust and self-disclosure in the context of computer mediated communication

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2004
Erdost, Türküler
This study was aimed to shed light on the effects of computer mediated communication on self-disclosure and trust which appear to be the two important concepts within interpersonal relations. To what extent the computer mediated communication differs from or similar to face-to-face communication in terms of trust and self-disclosure which play a key role in the establishment, development and maintenance of relationships was explored. Results were obtained from 100 people who participated in synchronous communication via Internet. Computer administered multi scaled questionnaire was used for data collection. Results of 2 (communication medium: face-to-face vs. computer mediated communication) X 2 (intimacy of relationship: trust vs. self-disclosure) repeated measures of ANOVA revealed a significant main effect for communication medium and intimacy of relationship indicating that subjects reported more intimate relationships for face-to-face communication and the reported levels of self-disclosure were found to be higher than the reported levels of trust. Also an interaction was found for communication medium and intimacy of relationship. Although in terms of face-to-face communication no significant differences were found between trust and selfdisclosure scores, trust scores were found to be significantly lower when people communicate via Internet. In addition, findings revealed that both measures of trust and self-disclosure were significantly lower in computer mediated communication condition than in face-to-face communication. Findings which did not completely but partially supported the hypothesis of the study were discussed within the context of literature and in terms of their theoretical as well as practical implications. Limitations and possible confounds were also mentioned for their potential influence on the results. Keywords: Internet, Computer Mediated