[Research] Physical distance and persuasion in virtual environment

Moon, Y. (1999). The Effects of Physical Distance and Response Latency on Persuasion in Computer-Mediated Communication and Human-Computer Communication. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 5(4), 379--392

The present study investigates the effects of two variables - perceived physical distance and response latency - on persuasion in computer-mediated communication (CMC) and human-computer communication (HCC). Results from two experiments indicate a negative relationship between perceived physical distance and persuasion in both CMC and HCC. In addition, results from both experiments indicate a nonmonotonic relationship between response latency and persuasion, such that persuasion is greatest when response latencies are neither too short nor too long. Together, these experiments suggest that there are significant trade-offs associated with using long-distance computer networks to communicate persuasive messages. In addition, the findings suggest that whatever standards are used to evaluate human sources may also be used to evaluate non-human sources.