The Media Equation

How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places

Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass

The Media Equation
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Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass

Distributed for Center for the Study of Language and Information

305 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1996, 2002
Paper $27.00 ISBN: 9781575860534 Published January 2003
Can human beings relate to computer or television programs in the same way they relate to other human beings? Based on numerous psychological studies, this book concludes that people not only can but do treat computers, televisions, and new media as real people and places. Studies demonstrate that people are "polite" to computers; that they treat computers with female voices differently than "male" ones; that large faces on a screen can invade our personal space; and that on-screen and real-life motion can provoke the same physical responses. Using everyday language to engage readers interested in psychology, communication, and computer technology, Reeves and Nass detail how this knowledge can help in designing a wide range of media.
1          The Media Equation
Media and Manners
2          Politeness
3          Interpersonal Distance
4          Flattery
5          Judging Others and Ourselves
Media and Personality
6          Personality of Characters
7          Personality of Interfaces
8          Imitating Personality
Media Emotion
9          Good versus Bad
10        Negativity
11        Arousal
Media and Social Roles
12        Specialists
13        Teammates
14        Gender
15        Voices
16        Source Orientation
Media and Form
17        Image Size
18        Fidelity
19        Synchrony
20        Motion
21        Scene Changes
22        Subliminal Images
Final Words
23        Conclusions about the Media Equation
            Chapter References
            Author Index
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