Social and Cognitive Processes in Interpersonal Communication: Implications for Advanced Telecommunications Technologies

By Fussell, Susan R.; Benimoff, Nicholas I. | Human Factors, June 1995 | Go to article overview

Social and Cognitive Processes in Interpersonal Communication: Implications for Advanced Telecommunications Technologies


Fussell, Susan R., Benimoff, Nicholas I., Human Factors


Interactive multimedia conferencing systems, in which two or more remotely located people can work on cooperative tasks through shared audio, video, and data, appear to be the wave of the future. However, because of great advances in the underlying technology of multimedia conferencing system, many design decisions have been driven by what is technically feasible as opposed to what will best suit the needs of the users. In this paper we provide a framework for the design and evaluation of features in advanced telecommunications products and services which is derived from empirical research on interpersonal communication. We also discuss implications of this research for the development and use of advanced telecommunications technologies.

INTRODUCTION

Recent advances in a variety of telecommunications technologies have revolutionized the ways in which people are able to communicate with one another. Interpersonal communication is being whisked into the 21st century a few years early with the maturation of the set of technologies that enable multimedia conferencing. The ability to interact with people not in the same room via methods other than the telephone has attracted a great deal of attention, resulting in the introduction of multimedia telecommunications products to the marketplace (e.g., videophones and PC-based video systems) and the burgeoning interest, in both the academic and business worlds, in the field of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). Before long, we are certain to witness great advances in how remotely located people interact to perform cooperative work activities, such as codesigning a product, making marketing decisions, collaborating on an article, and attending classes without traveling to a classroom.

Human factors experts have had significant influence on the evolution of multimedia systems. Some have identified general user interface issues for multimedia conferencing systems (e.g., display quality, interface design, privacy and security issues; e.g., Benimoff and Burns, 1993; Benimoff and Whitten, 1993). Others have evaluated specific systems in terms of usability and other criteria; still others have addressed issues concerning the structures and requirements of work groups that might benefit from advanced telecommunications technologies (e.g., Gabarro, 1990; Kraut, Egido, and Galegher, 1990; Kraut, Galegher, and Egido, 1987-1988; McGrath, 1990). Despite these contributions, however, and despite Kiesler, Siegel, and McGuire's (1984) cautions, human factors expertise is often solicited late in the development cycle. As a result, many basic design decisions for multimedia conferencing products have been driven by what is technically feasible as opposed to what will best suit the needs of the users.

Our aim in this paper is to review the growing psychological literature on interpersonal communication with an eye toward identifying principles to guide the design and evaluation of communication-enhancing features in advanced telecommunications products and services. We will use a broad definition of multimedia conferencing -- that is, two or more remotely located people electronically sharing audio, video, and data via either desktop PC or a group room system (see Figure 1 for a sample PC screen configuration). An extension of the remotely familiar audio teleconference, in a multimedia conference participants can not only speak with one another but have the ability to see each other and share documents, on-screen white boards, video clips, and the like.

We conceive of multimedia-enabled conferences (and all teleconferences) as extensions ordinary conversations; thus the design and implementation of successful multimedia telecommunications systems rests on an understanding of what people do when they communicate face to face. Just as in face-to-face conversation (Austin, 1962; Searle, 1969), teleconference attendees produce and understand messages (commands, questions, suggestions, etc. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Social and Cognitive Processes in Interpersonal Communication: Implications for Advanced Telecommunications Technologies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.