Shyness, Sociability, and the Use of Computer-Mediated Communication in Relationship Development (Sheeks & Birchmeier, 2007)

What does that got to do with computer games? Actually it relates to our communication with each other through computers. Kotaku wrote a nice post from Wired’s Clive Thompson about using Teamspeak over at World of Warcraft (I prefer the kotaku link first because of the funny picture, but kotaku still has the wired link). Read it and you’ll get it why it’s here.


Computer-mediated communication (CMC) offers its users a reduced-cues environment, a chosen degree of identifiability to others, and a forum to express facets of one’s self. Previous research suggests CMC is more appealing than traditional forms of communication to certain individuals whose desires to be sociable with others are prohibited by social inhibitions. The present study predicted that individuals who indicated higher levels of both shyness and sociability would be able to express their true-selves to a greater extent online. Their relationships online would grow more quickly and be more satisfying relative to others. The pattern of results supports our hypotheses, except for the predicted relationship between true-self expression and CMC use. Suggestions for future research as well as implications for the application of CMC use in therapy for certain populations are addressed.

So busy, busy, busy and why am I just putting the article’s abstract? It’s not fair for the readers, I guess.

Sheeks, M. S., & Birchmeier, Z. P. (2007). Shyness, sociability, and the use of computer-mediated communication in relationship development. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(1), 64-70.


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