The illusion of nonmediation in telecommunication : voice intensity biases distance judgments to a communication partner.

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Abstract

The illusion of nonmediation is an experience in mediated communication where individuals respond as if the medium is not there. It is frequently associated with advanced media technology, such as virtual environments and teleconference systems. In this paper, we investigate whether people experience an illusion of nonmediation during interactions as simple as making a phone call. In three experiments, participants were asked to listen to someone's voice on a mobile phone (Experiment 1) or through VoIP software (Experiment 2 and 3) before guessing the location of the person and indicating this location on a map. Results consistently demonstrated that louder voices were judged to be closer, as if the technical mediation was ignored. Combining the three experiments, a small-scale meta-analysis yielded an effect size estimate of d = 0.37 for the ‘louder-as-closer’ effect. Implications of the results and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
JournalActa psychologica
Volume157
Issue numberMay
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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