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Social Influence Online: A Tale of Gender Differences in the Effectiveness of Authority Cues

Bradley M. Okdie, Rosanna E. Guadagno, Petia K. Petrova and Wyley B. Shreves
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Bradley M. Okdie: The Ohio State University at Newark, Newark, OH, USA
Rosanna E. Guadagno: The National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA, USA
Petia K. Petrova: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
Wyley B. Shreves: The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2013, vol. 3, issue 1, 20-31

Abstract: This study examined the extent to which communicator salience manipulated by varying communication modes, authority-based social influence, and gender affect persuasion in online environments by utilizing a 2 by 2 between subjects design. Participants of the experiment were either presented with an authority-based influence attempt or no influence attempt. They then engaged in a persuasive interaction with a same-sex confederate via computer-mediated communication (CMC) or face-to-face. Results revealed that men in the Authority condition who interacted via CMC were more persuaded then men in the Peer condition who interacted via CMC. Additionally, men reported more confidence when interacting via CMC and reported that their decision was more influenced by the confederate online. Moreover, perceptions of the confederate varied by gender and communication mode. Analysis suggests that authority based influence tactics via CMC are more effective for men than for women.

Date: 2013
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