Vossen, Koutamanis and Walther, (2017) in this paper portray the results of an original study; and the whole work is structured around the primary data obtained from an experiment whereby participants are randomly assigned into different groups in order to test different conditions. The different sections of the paper are well outlined, but the most effective is the discussion section because it helps the audience to properly situate the research work in view of other previously available literature in the sphere.
The methodology is quantitative; and in light of the need for empirical findings to properly strengthen the wake of data being spread on feedback in online communication particularly.
The between-groups design helps to address the hypotheses by putting people in online conditions and others in face to face conditions and further splitting the conditions to accommodate the hypotheses. The author cites peer-reviewed journals and well-read authors including their previous works on the subject of communication via online media. The authors make use of statistical data and the reasoning here is basically empirical as the models that were cited were based on concluding empirical research.
The data supports the inferences drawn by the researchers; and were well situated based on the intellectual resources used to buttress the germane points.
Vossen et al., highlighted the progress of research in online mediated communication; and interaction predominantly through social media; and showed through available literature how important disclosure is in communication, ; forming the initial impression formed about or by the person at the other end.
They explored the dynamics adn the available resources on potential outcomes of these social situations that are also described as online chatting. They highlighted feedback or the response of a fellow chatmate to revealing information about oneself; self-disclosure. They also showed from available sources how that self esteem is temporarily dependent on assessment from external sources of our disclosure; and we tend to feel better about ourselves when we are assessed to be justified in our reports; and feel less of ourselves, when we are considered to have reported nonsense.
Vossen et al., set out to fill three gaps in the empirical knowledge available on online self-disclosure; with respect to self-esteem; the first being whether there will be significant effects of feedback on the difference in self-esteem scores reported by their measuring instrument; the second being expanding the sphere into investigating reciprocal feedback which is defined as a response to the feedback that was obtained after self-disclosure. Using a between-groups research design, the study was appropriately set up to investigate both online and face-to-face conditions simultaneously, via assigning the participants to groups. The design is appropriate and is relatively sufficient to achieve the set research objectives.
The date of collection of the data however is questionable (2013), and unless this is a typographical error, then it makes this research one that should have been made accessible before present. The inquiry encompassed confederates and participants who were incentivized to act the role of a chat mate; without knowing the actual aims of the experiment. The deception was well played, and the only flaw is if the participant is smart enough to understand the underground tactics deployed and the overarching investigation intended and then affects the results with such bias. The experiment was able to cover a good demographic spread; with a sample with almost equal male-female ratio. The study involved proper ethical consultation as due approval was granted by the committee assigned to the department. Given that the participants were also university students, it goes to show that the research work was well thought out.
Vossen et al., (2017) were able to pair the participants appropriately and designed the conditions to an introduction situation between both the participant and the confederate in order to give room for impression building. The only shortcoming highlighted for this method of making this happen is the fact that being the first meeting made it impossible to further track changes. The reason for stating this is because the length of time where parties might have known each other would be relevant in weighing the impact of feedback.
The communication mode was manipulated; into a chatting and room or laboratory meet-up. The meet up however was limited through a scripted booklet; which was given to both confederates and participants; after which questionnaires were administered to obtain demographics of the participants. The confederates were also armed with scripts to manipulate the type of feedback that is received by the participant. These scripts were properly arranged and I assert them to be appropriate. The self-esteem was measured before and after this meet-up in order to test the hypothesis that involves the difference between face-to-face impacts and online impression impacts. This hypothesis even seems to be the main point portrayed by the topic of the experiment in the first place.
The researchers statistically examined the proneness of the results to the suspicion of the participants manipulating the results in a particular direction; which is hard to understand probably because of my current level of understanding of such; and in my opinion, I don’t think it is necessary. Analysis of Variance is of wide acclaim in assessing experimental conditions and statistically pooling inferences. From the values of F; and p, we can see that the effects for the first hypothesis failed to show significant values; even though the hypothesis was split into two, the test showed that the confirming feedback did not both lead to hike in self-esteem in comparison to disconfirming feedback. The second hypothesis was however proven to be significant; and the overall results of the experiment are in favour of the reciprocal feedback variable; rather than the initial feedback. Vossen et al., go on however to discuss these findings and situate it properly in the middle of hitherto available literature.
The article was directed towards the audience of intellectuals as the language and style in the context is for those familiar with the terms used. The article is a quixotic installment of novelty because their choices in research method enlighten us that they are well equipped with knowledge on both their path; and in research. The research problems are well expounded upon and are shown as what the paper is set to hover on. However, there is no stated embodiment as to the applicability or significance of the results of the study in everyday interaction; as the constructs are flexible and almost inconsequential.
Examining feedback, modes of communication, and the nature of either confirming or disconfirming were all extrapolated, except that these terms were not appropriately demystified within the work. The authors are able to identify different sides to these variables; and to talk on them from the backdrop of published literature, but there is still lacking the section where the author is supposed to go about making these terms crystal clear. The literature review is well outlined and divided into sections, and the component sections address germane lapses and expose the missing pieces in the imaginary research puzzle. This is the first strong point of this research work; even though it does not seem student-friendly, but the way it is arranged makes it readable and understandable.
The Results section is actually a part that I might vehemently criticize because of the absence of an appropriate table to capture the major findings and encapsulate the relationships for easy reference by the reader. The figures and the analytics however are stated intermittently in-text; and this is in an explanatory fashion except that a table would have been more appropriate. The major strong points of the research is its objective and remote standpoint and its worthwhile acknowledgment of previous models and experiments and its being able to link altogether, including giving precedents to future researchers.