Interactivity in Online Chat: Conversational Contingency and reaction Latency in Computer-mediated Communication

Interactivity in Online Chat: Conversational Contingency and reaction Latency in Computer-mediated Communication

Chronemic reaction latency

One crucial feature of interactivity is reaction latency, for example., the rate with which reactions appear. Walther and Tidwell’s (p. 356) initial research of the time cues in CMC concluded, “the period of time between one message and also the next (has) great possible to influence the judgments we model of people who initiate or answer interaction” in CMC. Research on response latencies can be found in both face-to-face and CMC contexts. A response lapse over 3 seconds can constitute an interaction failure ( McLaughlin), and speakers who wait 4–10 seconds to reply are perceived as less attractive and competent, with lower social skills, than those who do not (see McLaughlin & Cody, for a review) in face-to-face encounters.

Within CMC, Kalman, Scissors, Gill, and Gergle argued that having less other cues that are nonverbal raise the effectiveness of the time cues on social judgments in accordance with their results in offline interaction. In real-time CMC team applications, significant pauses between remarks generated less trust among participants ( Kalman, Scissors, & Gergle). Comparable findings occur in studies of multi-user chats in digital worlds ( e.g., Cherny). These excuses are more likely to be granted for tardy email responses than delays during live conversations such as real-time chats ( Turner & Reinsch) although some response latency in CMC is excused through attributions about the communicator’s typing skill or system delays in receiving the other’s message. (more…)

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