Quantifying the Effect of Social Presence on Online Social Conformity (bibtex)
by Wijenayake, Senuri, van Berkel, Niels, Kostakos, Vassilis and Goncalves, Jorge
Abstract:
Social conformity occurs when individuals in group settings change their personal opinion to be in agreement with the majority's position. While recent literature frequently reports on conformity in online group settings, the causes for online conformity are yet to be fully understood. This study aims to understand how social presencei.e., the sense of being connected to others via mediated communication, influences conformity among individuals placed in online groups while answering subjective and objective questions. Acknowledging its multifaceted nature, we investigate three aspects of online social presence: user representation (generic vs.user-specific avatars), interactivity (discussion vs.no discussion ), and response visibility (public vs.private ). Our results show an overall conformity rate of 30% and main effects from task objectivity, group size difference between the majority and the minority, and self-confidence on personal answer. Furthermore, we observe an interaction effect between interactivity and response visibility, such that conformity is highest in the presence of peer discussion and public responses, and lowest when these two elements are absent. We conclude with a discussion on the implications of our findings in designing online group settings, accounting for the effects of social presence on conformity.
Reference:
S. Wijenayake, N. van Berkel, V. Kostakos, J. Goncalves, "Quantifying the Effect of Social Presence on Online Social Conformity", Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction - CSCW, 2020, 55:1-55:22.
Bibtex Entry:
@article{Wijenayake2020SocialPresenceConformity,
	Abstract = {Social conformity occurs when individuals in group settings change their personal opinion to be in agreement with the majority's position. While recent literature frequently reports on conformity in online group settings, the causes for online conformity are yet to be fully understood. This study aims to understand how social presencei.e., the sense of being connected to others via mediated communication, influences conformity among individuals placed in online groups while answering subjective and objective questions. Acknowledging its multifaceted nature, we investigate three aspects of online social presence: user representation (generic vs.user-specific avatars), interactivity (discussion vs.no discussion ), and response visibility (public vs.private ). Our results show an overall conformity rate of 30% and main effects from task objectivity, group size difference between the majority and the minority, and self-confidence on personal answer. Furthermore, we observe an interaction effect between interactivity and response visibility, such that conformity is highest in the presence of peer discussion and public responses, and lowest when these two elements are absent. We conclude with a discussion on the implications of our findings in designing online group settings, accounting for the effects of social presence on conformity.},
	Author = {Wijenayake, Senuri and van Berkel, Niels and Kostakos, Vassilis and Goncalves, Jorge},
	Doi = {10.1145/3392863},
	Journal = {Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction - CSCW},
	Pages = {55:1-55:22},
	Title = {Quantifying the Effect of Social Presence on Online Social Conformity},
	Url = {https://nielsvanberkel.com/files/publications/cscw2020a.pdf},
	Year = {2020}}
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