Interpersonal uncertainty reduction in Second Life.

John C. Sherblom, Lesley Anne Withers

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The present study examines the uncertainty reduction strategies preferred by Second Life communicators. Second Life is an on-line, three-dimensional, virtual, computer-mediated communication (CMC) environment in which participants communicate with each other through their avatars. Past studies, such as Tidwell and Walther (2002) and Tamborini and Westerman (2006), that examined the use of uncertainty reduction strategies in CMC found that communicators use the interactive strategies of verbal interrogation and self-disclosure when communicating by email or through a messaging system. The present study extends those findings to another CMC environment. Present results suggest that second life communicators identify a wider variety of strategies as useful for reducing uncertainty. These include the passive strategies of unobtrusive observation, social comparison, and disinhibited observation, as well as the interactive strategies of verbal interrogation and self disclosure. The present results are compared to past CMC results and interpreted for implications in the larger CMC context.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Feb 15 2009
EventWestern States Communication Association - Phoenix, AZ, USA
Duration: Feb 15 2009Feb 15 2009


OtherWestern States Communication Association


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