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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 4 The next section presents a brief review of visual cues and anonymity. I focus on anonymity in the context of idea generating groups. For this reason, part of the review will focus on GDSS characteristics. Then I present a selective overview of self-awareness to clarify the difference between suspending the assessment about anonymity and reducing the perception of anonymity per se. Because assessment of perceived anonymity requires cognitive effort, I suggest that task characteristics interact with the context of the media used to determine whether an individual acts ‘as if’ anonymous. I then present an exploratory study in which I manipulated the visual cues of other members of the group to test the in perceived self-anonymity. Perceived Anonymity in Groups. Most empirical research on anonymity in groups has been done using groups that the experimenter creates exclusively for the experiment. Scott (Scott, 1999) suggests that such research has two negative implications. First, because these groups have no prior history, the findings might not be generalizable to contexts outside the experimental setting. Second, and most importantly, prior knowledge between group members affects the perception of anonymity itself. Specifically, he suggests that anonymous communication between unknown group members would be perceived as more anonymous than the same form of communication among members that know each other. Given Scott’s (Scott, 1999) arguments, it seems plausible that individuals within organizations will not perceive themselves as anonymous after face-to-face interaction. This is because prior face-to-face interaction leads to an increase in knowledge about group members. Further, it seems unlikely that organizational members will never interact face to face, either

Authors: Gomez, Luis.
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Visual Cues and Perceived Self-Anonymity
4
The next section presents a brief review of visual cues and anonymity. I focus on
anonymity in the context of idea generating groups. For this reason, part of the review will focus
on GDSS characteristics. Then I present a selective overview of self-awareness to clarify the
difference between suspending the assessment about anonymity and reducing the perception of
anonymity per se. Because assessment of perceived anonymity requires cognitive effort, I
suggest that task characteristics interact with the context of the media used to determine whether
an individual acts ‘as if’ anonymous. I then present an exploratory study in which I manipulated
the visual cues of other members of the group to test the in perceived self-anonymity.
Perceived Anonymity in Groups.
Most empirical research on anonymity in groups has been done using groups that the
experimenter creates exclusively for the experiment. Scott (Scott, 1999) suggests that such
research has two negative implications. First, because these groups have no prior history, the
findings might not be generalizable to contexts outside the experimental setting. Second, and
most importantly, prior knowledge between group members affects the perception of anonymity
itself. Specifically, he suggests that anonymous communication between unknown group
members would be perceived as more anonymous than the same form of communication among
members that know each other.
Given Scott’s (Scott, 1999) arguments, it seems plausible that individuals within
organizations will not perceive themselves as anonymous after face-to-face interaction. This is
because prior face-to-face interaction leads to an increase in knowledge about group members.
Further, it seems unlikely that organizational members will never interact face to face, either


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