Gaining individuals’ compliance to respond to surveys, sign up for information, or purchase products requires persuasion, i.e., the shaping, reinforcing, or changing of message receivers’ responses (Miller, 1980). In CMC contexts, it is not always clear which features or actions will actually prove to be persuasive ([Citera, 1998], [Moon, 1999], [Tanis and Postmes, 2003], [Wilson, 2003] and [Wilson, 2005]). For this reason, people typically find it more difficult to initiate persuasive communication via CMC than in face-to-face settings (Wilson, 2002). Although a substantial persuasion literature has emerged, complete with predictive models and theories, this literature has been developed largely using communication modes which differ from CMC in two key ways that obstruct the applicability of many findings.
First, many factors which are known to be persuasive in traditional (i.e., not computer-mediated) communication are not available in CMC. These include visual cues, such as facial expressions, and many non-verbal cues, such as vocal tone and intensity. Other persuasive cues may be substantially modified or subverted in CMC, such as interpreting how attractive... [continues]
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