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Effects of visual cues on public self-awareness and perceived anonymity of self
Unformatted Document Text:  Visual Cues and Perceived Self-Anonymity 19 suggest that individuals facing tasks with large cognitive requirements reduce their self- awareness to conserve cognitive resources. Future research could explore whether cognitive effort and the flow (engagement and playfulness, (Trevino, 1992 #26)Trevino, 1992 ) of the technology is related to perceptions of anonymity. Manipulations of anonymity in laboratory settings avoid this problem, since anonymity, either visual or discursive, is structurally set by the experimenter. In this way researchers (e.g. Kahai et al, 1998; Reicher et al, 1998) have been able to explore the consequences of being anonymous. However, manipulations of anonymity do not tell us much about perceived anonymity. Specifically, manipulations might help us understand structural antecedents to anonymity, but do not give us information about the relationship between perceptions of anonymity and other types of perceptions, such as self- awareness. As an exploratory study, this paper raises more questions than it answers. Support for hypothesis one implies that the effects of visual cues on perceived anonymity are distinct and cumulative to those of discursive anonymity. Nevertheless, the study also shows that the effect size of visual cues once we have discursive anonymity are rather small. Thus, although there is support for the effects of visual anonymity, results raise the concern of whether these effects are of practical relevance. This exploratory study thus raises concerns about the antecedents of perceived anonymity in groups. The study is exploratory and has a small sample size. In this sense, the present study does not solve or clarify current theory. Nevertheless, the results do suggest that there are no significant effects of visual cues on perceived anonymity once we control for source anonymity. Further, the results suggest that public self-awareness does have a relationship with perceived anonymity. Further, results also show that perceived self-awareness is related to other factors

Authors: Gomez, Luis.
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Visual Cues and Perceived Self-Anonymity
19
suggest that individuals facing tasks with large cognitive requirements reduce their self-
awareness to conserve cognitive resources. Future research could explore whether cognitive
effort and the flow (engagement and playfulness, (Trevino, 1992 #26)Trevino, 1992 ) of the
technology is related to perceptions of anonymity. Manipulations of anonymity in laboratory
settings avoid this problem, since anonymity, either visual or discursive, is structurally set by the
experimenter. In this way researchers (e.g. Kahai et al, 1998; Reicher et al, 1998) have been
able to explore the consequences of being anonymous. However, manipulations of anonymity
do not tell us much about perceived anonymity. Specifically, manipulations might help us
understand structural antecedents to anonymity, but do not give us information about the
relationship between perceptions of anonymity and other types of perceptions, such as self-
awareness.
As an exploratory study, this paper raises more questions than it answers. Support for
hypothesis one implies that the effects of visual cues on perceived anonymity are distinct and
cumulative to those of discursive anonymity. Nevertheless, the study also shows that the effect
size of visual cues once we have discursive anonymity are rather small. Thus, although there is
support for the effects of visual anonymity, results raise the concern of whether these effects are
of practical relevance.
This exploratory study thus raises concerns about the antecedents of perceived anonymity
in groups. The study is exploratory and has a small sample size. In this sense, the present study
does not solve or clarify current theory. Nevertheless, the results do suggest that there are no
significant effects of visual cues on perceived anonymity once we control for source anonymity.
Further, the results suggest that public self-awareness does have a relationship with perceived
anonymity. Further, results also show that perceived self-awareness is related to other factors


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