The current study examines how self-disclosure functions in computer-mediated communication (CMC) versus face-to-face (FtF) communication. Various research theories, including online disinhibition, self-awareness effects, and hyperpersonal communication, have indicated that inherent differences in CMC environments lead to increased frequency and intimacy of self-disclosure online. However, contradictory evidence in the literature prompts a need for further analysis of these findings. In the current study, we indirectly manipulated levels of online disinhibition and self-awareness by placing participants in various CMC conditions designed to elicit differing levels of these variables and compared their resultant levels of self-disclosure to those of participants in a control FtF condition. In this experimental design, we had dyads discuss a dilemma in one of three CMC condition groups: text-based chat (high disinhibition, low self-awareness), voice calling (moderate disinhibition, moderate self-awareness), and voice calling with webcam (low disinhibition, high self-awareness) or a control FtF (very low disinhibition, very high self-awareness) condition. A team of coders measured self-disclosure frequency through video and textual analysis. Questionnaires were administered to measure online disinhibition and self-awareness effects. At submission, the study was in progress and approximately 10% of the data had been acquired. Additional data collection continues and an ANOVA will be used for data analysis.

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