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Effects of Representational Similarity on Deindividuation and Conformity to Group Norms in Computer-Mediated Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  10 when deindividuated compared to when individuated. Contrarily, in the interpersonal context, people will show less conformity when deindividuated compared to when individuated. Experiment 1 Method Participants Participants were 60 (18 male, 42 female) undergraduates enrolled in a communication class. They were randomly assigned to a 2 (visual representation: same character vs. different character) x 2 (salient identity: inter-group vs. interpersonal) between-subjects experiment. Procedure Upon arrival, the participant was told that he or she would interact with two other participants, either XXX (the university where the study was conducted) students or other UC students, via a computer. More specifically, participants were instructed that they would exchange their opinions on a series of hypothetical scenarios, which pose a choice between actions of high risk (more rewarding but lower likelihood of attainment) and low risk (less rewarding but higher likelihood of attainment) (Kogan & Wallach, 1967). In fact, the entire interaction was preprogrammed to ensure rigorous experimental control over the content of interaction across conditions. 1 In addition, the different-character condition was told that various cartoon characters had been arbitrarily assigned to represent each participant on the computer screen during the interaction; the same-character condition was simply instructed that a cartoon character would represent the discussants. First, the participants read a hypothetical scenario presented on the computer screen. 2 After they finished reading and proceeded to the next page, the ostensible interactants gave the same decisions, manifesting the presence of group norm. The decisions were presented one after the other at a random time interval, as if each person had indicated his or her decision after reading the prior person’s decision. For those in the inter-group condition, the study director told that their university was assigned # 3; those in the interpersonal condition were told that the

Authors: Lee, Eun-Ju.
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10
when deindividuated compared to when individuated. Contrarily, in the interpersonal context,
people will show less conformity when deindividuated compared to when individuated.
Experiment 1
Method
Participants
Participants were 60 (18 male, 42 female) undergraduates enrolled in a communication
class. They were randomly assigned to a 2 (visual representation: same character vs. different
character) x 2 (salient identity: inter-group vs. interpersonal) between-subjects experiment.
Procedure
Upon arrival, the participant was told that he or she would interact with two other
participants, either XXX (the university where the study was conducted) students or other UC
students, via a computer. More specifically, participants were instructed that they would
exchange their opinions on a series of hypothetical scenarios, which pose a choice between
actions of high risk (more rewarding but lower likelihood of attainment) and low risk (less
rewarding but higher likelihood of attainment) (Kogan & Wallach, 1967). In fact, the entire
interaction was preprogrammed to ensure rigorous experimental control over the content of
interaction across conditions.
1
In addition, the different-character condition was told that various
cartoon characters had been arbitrarily assigned to represent each participant on the computer
screen during the interaction; the same-character condition was simply instructed that a cartoon
character would represent the discussants.
First, the participants read a hypothetical scenario presented on the computer screen.
2
After they finished reading and proceeded to the next page, the ostensible interactants gave the
same decisions, manifesting the presence of group norm. The decisions were presented one after
the other at a random time interval, as if each person had indicated his or her decision after
reading the prior person’s decision. For those in the inter-group condition, the study director told
that their university was assigned # 3; those in the interpersonal condition were told that the


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