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Abstract

Interpersonal persuasion is definitionally distinguished from broadcast persuasion by the presence of anticipated personal feedback and message coherence. Distinguishing interpersonal from broadcast messages in computer-mediated communication (CMC) may be an important individual tactic for avoiding information overload and filtering spam; however, we found no existing measures suitable for assessing these factors in CMC. This deficiency motivated the present study to develop and validate feedback and coherence questionnaire measures and conduct an initial test of the relevance of these measures to CMC. The measures met recommended criteria for content validity, construct validity, reliability, and predictive validity. In addition, the measures predicted most of the variance in social presence subjects perceived in our test messages and entirely mediated effects of whether the purported message sender was known or unknown to our subjects. These findings suggest feedback and coherence are important antecedents to persuasion in email, texting, instant messaging, and similar forms of CMC.

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