To explain or predict media effects

The overview below is commonly used to explain or predict media effects. This overview is by no means complete, but provides a global summary of thinking about media and its effects.

See: Social Presence Theory, Reduced Social Cues Approach, Social Identity model of Deindividuation Effects.

Core Assumptions and Statements

Computer-Mediated Communication has become a part of everyday life. Research has suggested that CMC is not neutral: it can cause many changes in the way people communicate with one another, and it can influence communication patterns and social networks (e.g., Fulk & Collins-Jarvis, 2001). In other words, CMC leads to social effects. Rice & Gattiker (2001) state that CMC differs from face-to-face communication. CMC limits the level of synchronicity of interaction, which may cause a reduction of interactivity. Furthermore, CMC can overcome time- and space dependencies. Together with these arguments the overall use of using CMC results in multiple differences with face-to-face communication.

Conceptions of Social Cues and Social Effects in Different Theoretical Frameworks and their Purpose in Interactions.



Intended Effects

Social Presence

Non-verbal communication

Proximity and orientation

Physical appearance

Person perception

Intimacy/ immediacy

Interpersonal relations

Reduced Social Cues Approach

Non-verbal communication

Visual contact

Statues cues

Position cues

Normative behavior

Social influence

Person awareness

Social Identity Model of Deindividuation Effects (SIDE)

Individuating cues

Social categorizing cues

Social influence

Source: Tanis (2003) p.15.


  • Tanis, M. (2003). Cues to Identity in CMC. The impact on Person Perception and Subsequent Interaction Outcomes. Thesis University of Amsterdam. Enschede: Print Partners Ipskamp.
  • Fulk, J. & Collins-Jarvis, L. (2001). Wired meetings: Technological mediation of organizational gatherings. In L.L. Putnam & F.M. Jablins (Eds.), New handbook of organizational communication (2nd ed., pp 624-703). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  • Rice, R.E. & Gattiker, U.E. (2001). New media and organizational structuring. In F.M. Jablin & L.L. Putnam (Eds), The new handbook of organizational communication (pp. 544-581). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

See also Communication and Information Technology