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Determinants of Gender Inference and Its Effects on Informational Social Influence
Unformatted Document Text:  2 Determinants of Gender Inference and Its Effects on Informational Social Influence in Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) ABSTRACT The present experiment investigated (a) what determines individuals’ inferences about their anonymous partner’s gender in text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) and (b) how the gender inference moderates informational social influence. In a 2 (participant’s gender: male vs. female) X 2 (knowledge bias: sports vs. fashion) X 2 (language style: male vs. female) X 2 (partner’s character: male vs. female) between-subjects experiment (N = 333), participants played a trivia game with an ostensible partner. Although people tended to derive the partner’s gender primarily from gender-typed language style and knowledge bias, interactions emerged concerning character representation: The gender of randomly assigned characters affected women’s, but not men’s, gender attribution to the anonymous partner, especially when the gender cues from other channels were somewhat ambiguous. A path model confirmed that gender inference led to differential assessment of partner’s expertise in a gender-laden task, which in turn determined conformity to partner’s suggestions.

Authors: Lee, Eun-Ju.
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2
Determinants of Gender Inference and Its Effects on Informational Social Influence
in Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)
ABSTRACT
The present experiment investigated (a) what determines individuals’ inferences about their
anonymous partner’s gender in text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) and (b)
how the gender inference moderates informational social influence. In a 2 (participant’s gender:
male vs. female) X 2 (knowledge bias: sports vs. fashion) X 2 (language style: male vs. female) X
2 (partner’s character: male vs. female) between-subjects experiment (N = 333), participants
played a trivia game with an ostensible partner. Although people tended to derive the partner’s
gender primarily from gender-typed language style and knowledge bias, interactions emerged
concerning character representation: The gender of randomly assigned characters affected
women’s, but not men’s, gender attribution to the anonymous partner, especially when the gender
cues from other channels were somewhat ambiguous. A path model confirmed that gender
inference led to differential assessment of partner’s expertise in a gender-laden task, which in turn
determined conformity to partner’s suggestions.


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