The disclosure-intimacy link in computer-mediated communication : An attributional extension of the hyperpersonal model

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-77
Journal / PublicationHuman Communication Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


The present research investigated whether the attribution process through which people explain self-disclosures differs in text-based computer-mediated interactions versus face to face, and whether differences in causal attributions account for the increased intimacy frequently observed in mediated communication. In the experiment participants were randomly assigned to a face-to-face or computer-mediated interaction with a confederate who made either high- or low-intimacy self-disclosures. Results indicated that computer-mediated interactions intensified the association between disclosure and intimacy relative to face-to-face interactions, and this intensification effect was fully mediated by increased interpersonal (relationship) attributions observed in the computer-mediated condition. The article presents an attributional extension of the hyperpersonal model by demonstrating the role of causal attributions in interpersonal intensification processes in text-based computer-mediated interactions. © 2010 International Communication Association.