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Effects of Representational Similarity on Deindividuation and Conformity to Group Norms in Computer-Mediated Communication
Unformatted Document Text:  21 Consistent with Experiment 1, character representation had a significant effect on deindividuation such that people were less likely to attribute different personal qualities to each partner when a uniform character represented everyone (M = 5.33, SD = 3.40) compared to when diverse characters represented each person (M = 8.98, SD = 5.69). Due to the unequal error variances between the two conditions (p < .005), Mann-Whitney test was used, Z = 2.32, p < .01 3 . Furthermore, the uniform visual representation elicited greater conformity to the partners’ unanimous opinions, replicating the findings from Experiment 1. Participants were more likely to express their agreement with the same-charactered interactants (M = 1.21, SD = 1.85) than with the different-charactered counterparts (M = -.39, SD = 1.56), F(1, 53) = 12.07, p < .001, η 2 = .19. There was a significant main effect for scenarios, F(3,159) = 19.78, p < .0001, η 2 = .27, but no interaction between character manipulation and scenario was observed, F(3,159) = 1.26, p = .29. H1 predicted that character manipulation would lead to differential appraisal of homogeneity between the group members. Indeed, people perceived their partners as more similar to each other when they were represented by the same characters (M = 16.26, SD = 4.77) than when they were assigned different characters (M = 13.50, SD = 5.26), F(1,53) = 4.15, p < .03, η 2 = .07. Moreover, there was a negative association between individuation and similarity between the partners, r = -.30, p < .02, suggesting that those who deindividuate their partners tended to consider them to share similar values and beliefs. Unlike Experiment 1, however, participants did not consider the same-charactered partners to be more similar to themselves than were the different-charactered partners, F = 1.63, p < .21. In line with H2, there were positive associations between deindividuation, group identification, and conformity: The more people individuate their partners, the less likely they identify with the group members, r = -.26, p < .03, and the more they identify with the group members, the more likely they express their agreement with the group members’ unanimous opinions, r = .30, p < .02. In addition, though not surprisingly, group identification was highly

Authors: Lee, Eun-Ju.
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21
Consistent with Experiment 1, character representation had a significant effect on
deindividuation such that people were less likely to attribute different personal qualities to each
partner when a uniform character represented everyone (M = 5.33, SD = 3.40) compared to when
diverse characters represented each person (M = 8.98, SD = 5.69). Due to the unequal error
variances between the two conditions (p < .005), Mann-Whitney test was used, Z = 2.32, p < .01
3
.
Furthermore, the uniform visual representation elicited greater conformity to the partners’
unanimous opinions, replicating the findings from Experiment 1. Participants were more likely to
express their agreement with the same-charactered interactants (M = 1.21, SD = 1.85) than with
the different-charactered counterparts (M = -.39, SD = 1.56), F(1, 53) = 12.07, p < .001,
η
2
= .19.
There was a significant main effect for scenarios, F(3,159) = 19.78, p < .0001,
η
2
= .27, but no
interaction between character manipulation and scenario was observed, F(3,159) = 1.26, p = .29.
H1 predicted that character manipulation would lead to differential appraisal of
homogeneity between the group members. Indeed, people perceived their partners as more similar
to each other when they were represented by the same characters (M = 16.26, SD = 4.77) than
when they were assigned different characters (M = 13.50, SD = 5.26), F(1,53) = 4.15, p < .03,
η
2
= .07. Moreover, there was a negative association between individuation and similarity between
the partners, r = -.30, p < .02, suggesting that those who deindividuate their partners tended to
consider them to share similar values and beliefs. Unlike Experiment 1, however, participants did
not consider the same-charactered partners to be more similar to themselves than were the
different-charactered partners, F = 1.63, p < .21.
In line with H2, there were positive associations between deindividuation, group
identification, and conformity: The more people individuate their partners, the less likely they
identify with the group members, r = -.26, p < .03, and the more they identify with the group
members, the more likely they express their agreement with the group members’ unanimous
opinions, r = .30, p < .02. In addition, though not surprisingly, group identification was highly


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