The following sample research paper shows how those who engage in online dating undergo a sociological process of reducing uncertainty. Social networking sites have shown to be the main driving force behind online dating and much research has done been on this behalf to show how it is changing the rules of dating, so to speak. Technology has undoubtedly changed the way that human beings communicate with one another today. As the internet has expanded heavily in the last ten years, so have online products and services that utilize communication on a mass scale. According to Gibbs et al , over ten million Americans have a profile on at least one dating website p. Internationally, Match.
Professors Charles Berger and Richard Calabrese invented the theory in after noting that initial interactions between individuals followed predictable patterns of information-gathering. Uncertainty Reduction Theory rests on several basic assumptions.
The main assumption is that uncertainty creates cognitive discomfort, which people will try to reduce. Uncertainty reduction occurs primarily by questioning new acquaintances in an attempt to gather information about them.
Computer mediated communication: Online dating and uncertainty reduction
The process of information seeking goes through predictable developmental stages, indicating changes in the quantity and type of information shared between individuals. Berger and Calabrese outlined seven concepts related to these assumptions:. Verbal Output - High levels of verbal output correlate positively with a greater reduction in uncertainty, higher levels of communication intimacy, similarity between individuals and liking.
Information Seeking - Occurs when individuals wish to know more about each other. Information can be obtained passively through observation or interactively through conversation. Self-Disclosure - Individuals willingly divulge information about themselves to reduce uncertainty in the other person, thus encouraging them to communicate openly. Reciprocity - Individuals interested in reducing uncertainty or starting a relationship will reciprocate uncertainty-reducing behavior, such as asking questions.
The higher the uncertainty between individuals, the more reciprocity a person can expect.
Similarity - Individuals who are alike or share interests will feel less uncertain about each other and achieve communication intimacy more quickly. Dissimilar individuals experience higher levels of uncertainty. Liking - Feelings of approval and preference between individuals likewise speed up the uncertainty-reduction process.
Feelings of dislike discourage relationship formation. However, only in certain circumstances do individuals feel the need to reduce uncertainty. After all, people rarely strike up conversations with others while riding an elevator or the subway. Theorists have identified three situations in which people will seek to reduce uncertainty:. Anticipation of Future Interaction - People will seek information about others they expect to see again, such as co-workers and neighbors.
Incentive Value - People desire information about individuals who have the power to influence their lives either positively or negatively, such as employers, teachers and politicians.
Research Paper on Online Dating
People use three basic strategies to obtain information about others: passive, active and interactive. With the passive strategy, the individual of interest is observed in various situations, including those in which the person may be presenting himself to others in a strategic way i. The active strategy involves setting up a situation where the person of interest can be observed or approached for interaction.
Behavioral uncertainty pertains to "the extent to which behavior is predictable in a given situation". A great example of ignoring societal norms is engaging in inappropriate self-disclosure. Proactive uncertainty reduction, making predictions of the most likely alternative actions the other person might take, is strategic communication planning prior to interaction. Retroactive uncertainty reduction is the process of analyzing the situation post interaction, which refers to making explanations for the other person's behavior and interpreting the meaning of behavioral choices.
Based on these two processes, Berger and Calabrese suggest that interpersonal communication behavior has at least two different roles to play within this framework. First, communication behavior itself is what we endeavor to predict and explain. Second, communication behavior is one vehicle that enables the formulation of predictions and explanations.
Berger and Calabrese propose a series of axioms drawn from previous research and common sense to explain the connection between their central concept of uncertainty and seven key variables of relationship development: verbal communication, nonverbal warmth, information seekingself-disclosurereciprocitysimilarity, and liking.
The approach "advocates the methods of the natural sciences,with the goal of constructing general laws governing human interactions".
Based on further research two additional axioms were added to the theory, the 8th axiom was add by Berger and Gudykunst and the 9th axiom was suggested by Neuliep and Grohskopf : . Berger and Calabrese formulated the following theorems deductively from their original seven axioms: . Viewed collectively, the theorems provide a framework for examining and predicting the process of getting to know someone. Berger and Calabrese separate the initial interaction of strangers into three stages: the entry stage, the personal stage, and the exit stage.
Each stage includes interactional behaviors that serve as indicators of liking and disliking. The entry stage of relational development is characterized by the use of behavioral norms.
Meaning individuals begin interactions under the guidance of implicit and explicit rules and norms, such as pleasantly greeting someone or laughing at ones innocent jokes. The contents of the exchanges are often dependent on cultural norms. The level of involvement will increase as the strangers move into the second stage. The personal phase occurs when strangers begin to explore one another's attitudes and beliefs. Individuals typically enter this stage after they have had several entry stage interactions with a stranger.
One will probe the other for indications of their valuesmorals and personal issues. Emotional involvement tends to increase as disclosure increases. In the exit phasethe former strangers decide whether they want to continue to develop a relationship.
If there is no mutual liking, either can choose not to pursue a relationship. Understanding the cycle of relational development is key to studying how people seek to reduce uncertainty about others.
Berger suggests that an individual will tend to actively pursue the reduction of uncertainty in an interaction if any of the three conditions are verified: . Example: For a couple of weeks there will be a new manager in your workplace, therefore future interactions with this person is a certainty.
The manager is assigning projects to the people in your department, every project returns a different commission which will directly influence your income. Arguably, being assigned a higher paying project has a greater incentive value for anyone in the department.
Uncertainty Reduction Theory
The manager has a sibling in your department, which could influence the manager's decision on project assignments. According to the theory, any single aforementioned factor or all three of them combined can result in an increase in one's desire to reduce uncertainty in interpersonal interactions. People engage in passiveactiveor interactive strategies to reduce uncertainty with others. Strategies as seeking information, focusing on primary goals, contingency planning, plan adaptation, accretive planning, and framing are often utilized by human communicators.
According to Berger, If a person were to observe another in their natural environment, intentionally unnoticeable, to gain information on another, would be categorized as using a passive tactic for reducing uncertainties. An active strategist would result to means of reducing uncertainties without any personal direct contact. An interactive strategist would directly confront the individual and engage in some form of dialog to reduce the uncertainties between the two.
Dec 14, The authors propose a conceptual model integrating privacy concerns, self-efficacy, and Internet experience with uncertainty reduction strategies and amount of self-disclosure and then test this model on a nationwide sample of online dating participants (N = ). The study findings confirm that the frequency of use of uncertainty reduction Cited by:
These strategies are meaningful to communication studies in a way that people's "unique capacities for forethought and planning and their ability to monitor carefully ongoing communication episodes" is valued in communicative process.
A new strategy for reducing uncertainty was suggested in by Ramirez, Walther, Burgoon, and Sunnafrank that complements computer mediated communication and the technological advancements.
The connection between URT strategies in online dating sites is thoroughly studied by Jennifer Gibbs' article entitled First Comes Love, Then Comes Google: An Investigation of Uncertainty Reduction Strategies and Self-Disclosure in Online Dating.5/5(4). Uncertainty Reduction in Online Dating Our thoughts Uncertainty Reduction Theory More self-disclosure than traditional face-to-face communication Information disclosed more likely to be embellished Relationship moves towards intimacy quicker The more we know, the more we like. Furthermore, the frequency of uncertainty reduction strategies mediates the relationship between these variables and amount of self-disclosure with potential online dating partners.
Given the vast amount of information one could find about an individual via online resources a fourth uncertainty reduction strategy that uses online mediums to obtain information was labeled as extractive information seeking. Study has shown that intercultural communication apprehension-the fear or anxiety with intercultural communication is positively associated with uncertainty. Studies have been conducted to determine the differences in the uses of uncertainty reduction strategies among various ethnicities.
A study, conducted in the United States, suggests that significant differences are apparent. Self-disclosure has a pan-cultural effect on attributional confidence but other types of uncertainty reduction strategies appeared to be more culture-specific. The only other significant differences found in the multiple comparisons test were between self- and other-disclosure levels for Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans, namely, the former perceived greater self- and other-disclosure levels than Asian-Americans.
Results of study that compares verbal behaviors and perceptions in intracultural interactions and intercultural interactions during the initial communication suggest that "intercultural interactions may not be as dissimilar from intracultural interactions as has been traditionally assumed".
Uncertainty reduction strategies and self-disclosure in online dating
A study of intercultural communication between Korean-Americans and Americans conclude that Korean-Americans' uncertainty level toward Americans did not decrease as their amount of verbal communication increased. But these two tested axioms are only a partially useful formulation for understanding such intercultural communication. Another study suggests that cultural similarities between strangers influence the selection of uncertainty reduction strategies by increasing the intent to interrogate, intent to self-disclose, and nonverbal affiliative expressiveness.
Study of mock hiring interviews examines nonverbal behavior between Indian applicants and United States interviewers. The uncertainty reduction theory has been applied to new relationships in recent years. Although it continues to be widely respected as a tool to explain and predict initial interaction events, it is now also employed to study intercultural interaction Gudykunst et al. Gudykunst argues it is important to test the theory in new paradigmsthus adding to its heuristic value Gudykunst, Scholarly studies have examined the practical application of uncertainty reduction theory in the context of job hiring by studying the communication process between interviewers and applicants prior and during an interview.
Understanding the interview process as an interactive communication process aimed to reduce uncertainty is important to organizations, as it has been proven that the more positive and negative information about expectations and organizational norms are shared during the interview process, both by the applicant and interviewer, the greater the job satisfaction and the less turnover rates. Findings suggest that applicants prefer conversational questions that helps them reduce uncertainties about the job they are applying to.
The interview is suggested to be the initial means of communication in which both participants thrive to reduce their uncertainties. Research studies have applied uncertainty reduction theory to online information seeking utilized in the context of job hiring. Using uncertainty reduction strategies through online sources have proven to be good predictions and indicators of targeted individuals.
Furthermore, online information's effect on job applicants has been widely discussed, as many guide books now suggest that applicants minimize what could be preserved by employers as negative presence in their online communities and strategically enhance any positive presence. As more organizations are including online information extract as part of their recruiting process, empirical results show that applicants with negative online presence are perceived as less qualified than those with a positive or neutral online presence.
Empirical studies have examined the relationship between the effects of self-uncertainty and in-group entitativity. One important question that was investigated was; what motivates people to join or identify with groups and engage in specific forms of inter-group behavior? Based on the concept of uncertainty reduction theory, the hypothesis that people identify most strongly with groups if they felt self-conceptual uncertainty was tested.
Results revealed that people who feel self-conceptual uncertainty are motivated to join groups in which they identify with as an efficient strategy and immediate way to reduce one's self-conceptual uncertainty. A person's self-categorization is affected by group identification including nationality, religion, gender, ethnicity and many other associated groups. Thus people continue to try to reduce the uncertainties they feel about themselves by identifying with even more specific groups.
There is also evidence that people who are highly uncertain about themselves are more likely to identify with more homogeneous groups to reduce their uncertainty of self and reach a more definite state. Given that uncertainty reduction theory was primarily developed for face-to-face interactions, critics have questioned the theory's applicability to computer-mediated communication CMC.
Pratt, Wiseman, Cody and Wendt argue that the theory is only partially effective in asynchronouscomputer-mediated environments. Antheunis, Marjolijn L. In addition, a study was conducted on members of a social networking site to see what reduction theory strategies they used while gaining information on people they had recently met in person.
All respondents used passive, active and interactive strategies, but the most common and beneficial strategy was the interactive strategy through which people show a perceived similarity and increasing social attraction. In an online consumer-to-consumer C2C e-commerce context, transactions usually happen directly between individuals with a third party involved acting as an intermediary or a communication platform, but not guaranteeing that the transaction happens.
Therefore, C2C e-commerce platforms constantly involve initial interaction between strangers that is motivated by the desire to exchange a product for money. Such environments are a significant risk for both the seller and the buyer, given the financial and psychological cost of a transaction failing because of a lack of information.
Online auction platforms such as are considered to be risky and uncertain environments for exchange, especially from the standpoint of the bidder, as there is limited information available regarding both the merchandise and the seller.
Using uncertainty reduction theory and predicted outcome value theory, a study of randomly selected data sets of auctions conducted on. In addition, a higher seller's reputation resulted in more bids and a higher selling price. Findings from the study illustrate that uncertainty reduction theory provides an insightful framework in which individuals' initial interactions in the context of online auctions can be understood.
The study also provides evidence that strategies for reducing uncertainty in online initial interaction are similar to those used in face-to-face transactions. Online dating sites typically bring together individuals who have no prior contact with one another and no shared physical space where nonverbal cues can be communicated through gestures, facial expression and physical distance. This limited access to nonverbal cues produces a different set of concerns for individuals, as well as a different set of tools for reducing uncertainty.
Gibbs, Ellison and Lai report that individuals on online dating websites attempt to reduce uncertainty at three levels: personal security, misrepresentation, and recognition. The asynchronous nature of the communications and the added privacy concerns may make people want to engage in interactive behaviors and seek confirmatory information sooner than those who engage in offline dating. Online dating mainly supports passive strategies for reducing uncertainties.
The option to view profiles online without needing to directly contact an individual is the main premise of passively reducing uncertainties. Gibbs, et al. Parents and surrogate mothers have great incentive for reducing uncertainty, taking optimal control, and finding a suitable third party for their pregnancy process.
May and Tenzek assert that three themes emerged from their study of online ads from surrogate mothers: idealism, logistics, and personal information. Idealism refers to surrogates' decision to share details regarding their lifestyle and health. Logistics refers to the surrogates' requested financial needs and services. Personal information refers to the disclosure of details that would typically take several interactions before occurring, but has the benefit of adding a degree of tangible humanness to the surrogate e.
well as the relationship between such uncertainty reduction strategies and self-disclosure behavior in the online dating context. Finally, we discuss the implications of these findings. The current study examines how interpersonal computer-mediated relationships developed through uncertainty reduction strategies and self-disclosure. Online daters may become educated on courting in a computer-mediated environment by learning from the experiences of those that participate in online relationship fireemblemheroestips.com: Krystle N. Jones. The Self-Reported Reasons for Self-Disclosure and Uncertainty Reduction Strategies Used in Romantic Online Dating Relationships Compared to Face-to-Face Romantic Dating Relationships by Krystle N. Jones A Thesis submitted in partial fullfillment of the Master of Science degree in Communication & Media Technologies Degree Awarded June 19,
Idealism, logistics and personal information all function to reduce potential parents' uncertainty about a surrogate mother. Due to the law-like framework to explain and predict other's behavior, if a particular theorem is disproved, it destroys the axiological base upon which it rests.
Through their studies with 1, students from 10 universities in the United States, Kathy Kellerman and Rodney Reynolds conclude that "no need exists to integrate concern for uncertainty reduction into the axiomatic framework"