Computer-Mediated Communication

Scholars examining social, psychological, and cultural issues related to computer-mediated communication (CMC) utilize various research methods. CMC can be described as a crossroad for those interested in mediated social interactions across many relevant disciplines. Therefore, research methods adopted in neighboring fields to communication are all present in CMC research. This entry introduces four different research methods that are frequently used by CMC scholars along with exemplary studies that employ each particular method. The four distinctive research methods reviewed here are survey, experiment, online ethnography, and social network analysis. Each method allows researchers to answer specific questions about CMC through systematic inquiry. CMC research does not represent a unique methodology, but deals with issues in interpersonal, organizational, health, and other areas of communication research ...

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