Vossen, Koutamanis, and Walther. An experimental test of the effects of online and face-to-face feedback on self-esteem. Unpublished paper. Vossen, Koutamanis, and Walther, (2017) in this paper are poised to fill certain gaps in available literature knowledge on feedback and self-esteem. In this paper, the researchers explored the online form of communication and how certain relationships that have been tested using face-to-face models are reproducible in online situations. The authors investigated dynamics pertaining to the online exchange of pleasantries and disclosure and how this might have a significant effect on self-esteem.
This investigation is experimental and involves investigating both online interactions and face-to-face interactions in order to test the hypotheses presented. There is feedback that is received as a response to disclosing certain aspects of self; and there is reciprocal feedback that is given as a response to such feedback.
They sought to investigate the dynamics at play and how self-esteem can be undermined and boosted given the communication being hyperpersonal as suggested by Walther.
The journal is intended for lecturers and policy analysts interested in the field as the language is direct with the assumption that we are familiar with the context. The journal however as at the time of reading is not yet published and if so, I personally did not find an online source to prove its publication status. The research hover is an excellent presentation of novelty and originality because the researchers actually know their onions; given that they have published other works in the field and are very knowledgeable about it, this should be applauded because these are steps in the right direction.
The researcher here does not clearly define the topic; as it is filled with technical terms that are not obvious to the general observer. The author actually properly defines the problem that the inquiry embarked upon and reported in the paper is intended to proffer solutions to. The significance of the study however is not properly identified and the applicability to everyday life was not properly underscored as the researcher keeps his terms technical and does not shed enough beam on the mundane aspects of the work’s applicability.
The research variables of feedback, mode of communication, and reciprocal feedback were identified by the researcher; except that the involved terms are not sufficiently demystified in the text. The research identifies many sides to communication and self-esteem, and feedback; and self-disclosure, but they are only defined in the context of published literature; and not as to their actual real meanings. The author provides a moderate literature review that is relatively too concise, probably because of the paucity of research in the arena but I believe that the literature review, even though it is insufficient, is relatively divided and broken down into variable components that suit various aspects of the study and this goes to make the reader to stay put in a scientific frame of mind as to how they go about tacking the research problems raised.
The author actually cites works that frame the gap that the experiment is trying to cover, and cites very current studies to help situate their research. The objectives are not clearly stated, but they are obvious from the way the issues are presented. The hypotheses are identified, though not outlined, but embedded in the narrative to give them a real working appeal to the audience. The author identifies the experimental nature of the inquiry right from the topic; and in the method section the design used; and the way the variables were defined. The appropriateness of the method derives from the nature of the variables that they have put into scrutiny. The study involves both confederates and participants; who were invited via voluntary consent to the role being incentivized.
The method of sampling was not properly stated, rather certain criteria were juxtaposed as a result of the confederates’ demographics. This mandated the researchers to work with matching sex; and age range in selecting participants; but does not give the general population enough probability for randomization or involvement in the final study. However, the sampling strategy is sufficient to cover for the lapses, since it helps achieve the objectives earlier explained. The instruments are well described, and reliability coefficients were given, in this case, the state self esteem measure was implemented; and adapted, using a visual aid in order to make the participants more comfortable with the experiment. The measures were well described; and this is a major strength of this paper, as it will serve as a guide for those wishing to embark upon future similar inquiries.
Even though the scales were modified, there is evidence that pilot studies had been conducted to make the scales applicable to the target sample. In the methodology however, there is the bias of using deception to make sure that the participants do not detect that their self-esteem scores are the target of the researcher’s exploration. The author’s major findings are presented in subsections, which is quite poor, because a table that will encapsulate and make the audience figure out most of the relationships and come back for easy reference is missing. Instead, the figures are stated intermittently in the text. The Results section is more of a discussion galore because demographics are missing and are not well tabulated; and this does not speak well of the paper.
The missing tables make an avid reader get confused on looking at the paper at another time, as you basically have to read the whole thing again looking for the key statistical details that make the work as assertive as it presently claims. Although, the researcher expounded on some diagrammatic models that can demonstrate his findings and as to where and how the gap has been filled and further inquiry is necessitated. The other shortcomings of the method were addressed in the discussion; so, I would not re-address them here.
The results were able to address the aims set forward priorly; in terms of their showing relevant figures. In the explanation of the hypotheses, however, it is commendable that the researcher is able to report some null effects which is relative evidence to the non-manipulation that was involved both in the experimental stages and in the reporting because all these variables might have shifted for reasons of the experimenter retaining bias that certain responses can be rendered invalid for not tallying with expectations. Alternative reasoning and explanations to explore reasons for null findings were appropriately done and is a major strong point for this paper. The theoretical significance of the research however is only viewed in futuristic terms as online communication is still currently explained via models and theories are still a far-reaching pursuit though achievable.
The author figures out ways for scholars to further widen the field due to the increase in present communication though online channels via Instagram, Whatsapp and the likes and the economic importance all these have on the present generation. The research is timely and worthwhile, and the design adopted is rather inclusive in order to build on earlier discovered information and models. The results in this study are original and can be used; and I recommend that the paper be published after going through the reviews. The author actually both provides insight and stimulates interest in the boring-looking field; and brings life to it, but not with normal terms but with concrete discussion on psychologically relevant constructs.
The article is structured into various headings of good length; only that I will prefer a longer literature review and a more systematic explanation of the terms and grammar used in order to make it more audience-friendly. The author’s language and style is purely formal and is not intended towards clarity but is more directed to its intellectual calibre for understanding. The presentation is objective; and respectful as previous research works were clearly highlighted in the discussion and acknowledged to be related to each other which gives the impression that this experiment is not an isolated venture but is intended to be open to disagreement as is common in intellectual discourse.