Computer-mediated communication: a study of linguistic variation in Instant Messenger

dc.contributor.advisorDavis, Douglas A., 1943-
dc.contributor.advisorPerloe, Sidney
dc.contributor.authorMiller, Rashidah N.
dc.date.accessioned2015-01-12T19:31:48Z
dc.date.available2015-01-12T19:31:48Z
dc.date.issued2002
dc.description.abstractIn a two-part study of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), researchers examined patterns of use by over 200 college-aged subjects. In the first study, a questionnaire on overall AIM use was administered, in which researchers found that AIM users spent on average 75 minutes a day actively using Instant Messenger. Of these conversations, approximately 31% were reported as "serious" while 50% were considered "casual." Observations of sex differences showed that a larger percentage of males than females agreed that discussing intimate issues and engaging in arguments online were appropriate. In the second study conducted, logs of AIM conversations were collected, and manual and mechanical coding processes employed to determine the frequency of use of features such as emoticons, abbreviations/slang, and profanity by males versus females. Based on prior research, it was hypothesized that significant differences would be found indicating more frequent use of emoticons by females than males, more frequency of profanity use by males than females and differences in the use of abbreviations/slang with unspecified directional effects. No significant results were found for the first two hypotheses, but significant results did indicate that males not only used abbreviations/slang more than females but that they are highly affected by the sex of their interlocutor in their frequency of use. Hypothesized gender differences in communication style were not found in the collected logs, perhaps because the sample was composed primarily of U.S. college students who communicated mostly with friends. Future studies on this phenomenon should broaden the sample population to include subjects of varying ages, socio-cultural backgrounds and degrees of affiliation.
dc.description.sponsorshipHaverford College. Department of Psychology
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10066/15207
dc.language.isoeng
dc.rights.accessHaverford users only
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
dc.subject.lcshInstant Messenger
dc.subject.lcshInstant messaging -- Psychological aspects
dc.subject.lcshLanguage and languages -- Variation
dc.titleComputer-mediated communication: a study of linguistic variation in Instant Messenger
dc.typeThesis
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