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Social Information Processing Theory
Journalism & Communication
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Name Class October 6, 2013 Theory: Social Information Processing Theory (Walther) Word Count: 1471 Joseph Walther’s Social Information Processing Theory opposes some of the assumptions of Social Presence Theory and Media-Richness Theory about the capacity of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in generating meaningful communication and interconnections.
Media-Richness Theory agrees with Social Presence Theory because it classifies CMC as incapable of expressing rich verbal and non-verbal cues. Walther differs in opinion to these theories because he believes that, as long as sufficient social messages are exchanged and subsequent relational growth is attained, CMC can also produce close relationships. Walther proposes the Social Information Processing Theory which states that through CMC, people exchange interpersonal information, form impressions, and decide how to use these impressions to form or not form close interpersonal relationships. Social Information Processing Theory helps understand how I formed close relationships with people in my G+ communities, specifically Elena and Hermie. I have recently been active in G+ communities, especially those involved in health and fitness. Walther is right to say that even if CMC does not present exactly the same cues as face-to-face communication, online users compensate by using cues that are available to them. Cues refer to a wide range of verbal and non-verbal impressions that are not always directly stated but rather personally observed. Impression formation, according to Social Information Processing Theory, refers to the formation of mental images about other people. ...
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