Social Cues and Impression Formation in CMC


concerning this article should be addressed to Martin Tanis, ASCoR, University of Amsterdam, Kloverniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; email:


Social consequences of communication technology are based on widespread assumptions regarding effects of restricted capacity of mediated communication. Consequences are examined mostly in studies comparing face-to-face communication with various forms of mediated communication, confounding the availability of cues with other characteristics of media. Present research examines effects of restricted capacity to convey social cues independent of other differences between media. Assumptions are that limited capacity to convey social cues has negative consequences for the reduction of ambiguity and positivity of impressions, and limited capacity has particular social consequences. The first part of this assumption is confirmed in 3 studies. However, consequences of this limitation to convey social cues are less straightforward. The effect of limited capacity on the selecting of collaboration partners depends on the social identity of the parties involved.