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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 2 Effects of visual cues on public self-awareness and perceived anonymity of self. Scholars have suggested positive effects of anonymity as one of the potential advantages to using certain forms of computer mediated communication (CMC). An example of CMC would be group decision support systems (GDSS) that can be configured to permit anonymous interaction (Scott, 1999). Anonymity can be understood as “condition that frees individuals from social evaluation or scrutiny” (Pissoneault & Heppel, 1998, p. 95). Thus, when the individual perceives him or herself to be anonymous he or she can contribute without the fear of social repercussions. Individuals seeking to remain visually anonymous might prefer to use CMC designed to reduce identifiability in contrast with face-to-face communication. Some characteristics of CMC could enhance the individual’s perception of remaining anonymous. For example, some forms of GDSS allow individuals to be physically separated, reducing visual cues. Also, most GDSS can be set up in a way that messages cannot be linked to the person writing them. Scholars (Joinson, 2001; Pisonneault & Heppel, 1998) focusing on groups have also considered ways in which GDSS characteristics reduce both private and public self-awareness, as well as contextual cues, such as status. Reduction in contextual cues might directly increase the individual’s perception of his or her anonymity. Another potential way to increase the perception of being anonymous is through reducing self-awareness. Self-awareness can be understood as “a perceptual process that involves focusing attention to one’s self-concept” (Kinney, Smith, & Donzella, 2001) p.249). Some scholars (Fletcher & Baldry, 2000; Kinney et al., 2001) have equated self-awareness to self-consciousness, considering it as an enduring trait. Nevertheless, other scholars have shown that self-awareness is a state, which can even be manipulated in experimental research

Authors: Gomez, Luis.
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Visual Cues and Perceived Self-Anonymity
2
Effects of visual cues on public self-awareness and perceived anonymity of self.
Scholars have suggested positive effects of anonymity as one of the potential advantages to
using certain forms of computer mediated communication (CMC). An example of CMC would
be group decision support systems (GDSS) that can be configured to permit anonymous
interaction (Scott, 1999). Anonymity can be understood as “condition that frees individuals from
social evaluation or scrutiny” (Pissoneault & Heppel, 1998, p. 95). Thus, when the individual
perceives him or herself to be anonymous he or she can contribute without the fear of social
repercussions.
Individuals seeking to remain visually anonymous might prefer to use CMC designed to
reduce identifiability in contrast with face-to-face communication. Some characteristics of CMC
could enhance the individual’s perception of remaining anonymous. For example, some forms of
GDSS allow individuals to be physically separated, reducing visual cues. Also, most GDSS can
be set up in a way that messages cannot be linked to the person writing them. Scholars (Joinson,
2001; Pisonneault & Heppel, 1998) focusing on groups have also considered ways in which
GDSS characteristics reduce both private and public self-awareness, as well as contextual cues,
such as status.
Reduction in contextual cues might directly increase the individual’s perception of his or
her anonymity. Another potential way to increase the perception of being anonymous is through
reducing self-awareness. Self-awareness can be understood as “a perceptual process that
involves focusing attention to one’s self-concept” (Kinney, Smith, & Donzella, 2001) p.249).
Some scholars (Fletcher & Baldry, 2000; Kinney et al., 2001) have equated self-awareness to
self-consciousness, considering it as an enduring trait. Nevertheless, other scholars have shown
that self-awareness is a state, which can even be manipulated in experimental research


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