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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 3 (Greenberg, 1983). The position taken in this paper is that self-awareness is a state which might change due to contextual influences. Anonymity can be achieved through a reduction in self-awareness because when the individual is not self-aware he or she does not evaluate whether he or she is anonymous or not. In this sense, the individual acts “as if” he or she perceives him or herself to be anonymous. I explore how both the reduction in visual cues and the reduction of public self-awareness affect an individual’s perception of being visually anonymous. Anonymity can be conceptualized as an experimental manipulation, where the experimenter makes individuals anonymous. Nevertheless, anonymity can also be considered as is perceived by the individual. The emphasis in this paper is on anonymity as perceived by the individual. I suggest that visual cues have two effects on perceived anonymity, one direct effect and one indirect through self-awareness. Through an experiment that manipulates visual cues, I explore these effects of visual cues on perceived anonymity. Through experiments with groups of students presented with an issue they need to decide on, the study tests for the effects of visual manipulations on perceived self-anonymity. In both conditions students must interact through a web-based discussion session. The manipulation consists in making them either visually present or not visually present. In both conditions the source of comments are stripped of identifiers by the system. The findings suggest that visual cues do not have an effect on perceived anonymity when source anonymity is controlled for. Nevertheless, consistent with prior research, the findings also show the strong relationship between public self-awareness and perceived self-anonymity. The conclusion suggested is that to better understand perceived self-anonymity we need to consider public self-awareness as a mediating variable and determine the antecedents to public self-awareness.

Authors: Gomez, Luis.
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Visual Cues and Perceived Self-Anonymity
3
(Greenberg, 1983). The position taken in this paper is that self-awareness is a state which might
change due to contextual influences.
Anonymity can be achieved through a reduction in self-awareness because when the
individual is not self-aware he or she does not evaluate whether he or she is anonymous or not.
In this sense, the individual acts “as if” he or she perceives him or herself to be anonymous. I
explore how both the reduction in visual cues and the reduction of public self-awareness affect
an individual’s perception of being visually anonymous.
Anonymity can be conceptualized as an experimental manipulation, where the
experimenter makes individuals anonymous. Nevertheless, anonymity can also be considered as
is perceived by the individual. The emphasis in this paper is on anonymity as perceived by the
individual. I suggest that visual cues have two effects on perceived anonymity, one direct effect
and one indirect through self-awareness. Through an experiment that manipulates visual cues, I
explore these effects of visual cues on perceived anonymity.
Through experiments with groups of students presented with an issue they need to decide
on, the study tests for the effects of visual manipulations on perceived self-anonymity. In both
conditions students must interact through a web-based discussion session. The manipulation
consists in making them either visually present or not visually present. In both conditions the
source of comments are stripped of identifiers by the system. The findings suggest that visual
cues do not have an effect on perceived anonymity when source anonymity is controlled for.
Nevertheless, consistent with prior research, the findings also show the strong relationship
between public self-awareness and perceived self-anonymity. The conclusion suggested is that
to better understand perceived self-anonymity we need to consider public self-awareness as a
mediating variable and determine the antecedents to public self-awareness.


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