Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 14

time, while the callers win only in the remaining 30% of the
today's technologies allow, and sometimes require,
cases (p 1 0.01, according to a two-tailed binomial test).
people to interact in a much wider spectrum of setIn other words, the very simple fact of being the receiver, a
tings. In some cases, this means the loss of certain cues
role assigned randomly in the experiment, literally doubles
possible in colocated interactions (e.g., people talking
the chance of winning the negotiation with an unacquainton the phone can use only speech and vocal cues). In
ed individual.
other cases, this means the adoption of a set of cues
Further analysis shows that receivers and callers use
fully alternative to those available in direct interacsocial signals differently. In particular, the receivers tend to
tions (e.g., social media users can like others' posts and
show social signals associated with dominance and higher
connect but cannot smile or establish eye contact).
status (e.g., a tendency to initiate overlapping speech) sigTo the best of our knowledge, it is still an open quesnificantly more frequently, while the callers tend to display
tion of how the signals that people exchange in these new
cues associated with lower status and submissive attitude
communication settings correspond to the traditional
(e.g., hesitations and filled pauses like ehm or uhm) signifisocial signals. In other words, it is still unclear whether
cantly more frequently [32], thus explaining the different
the model underlying the scheme of Figure 1, where people
chances of success in the negotiations.
display observable cues to perform functions necessary to
While it is not a surprise that people manage to
social interaction, can be transferred to new communicaaccomplish a task as complex as a negotiation over
tion technologies.
the phone (even if they lack most of the cues available
The rest of this section attempts to address this quesin face-to-face interactions), the effect of the setting
tion. In particular, this section addresses three scenarios
turns out to be unexpected. The
where the setting is increasingly
difference between calling and
different from those traditionreceiving results in a difference
ally considered in SSP and social
The question is not
of social vertically that produces
psychology. The results seem to
effects in terms of both observsuggest that people keep behaving
only how to transfer
able behavior and the outcomes
according to the model of Figure
face-to-face social
of the interaction.
1. However, the way this happens
signals to the online
includes unexpected effects.
Pictures as Social Signals
world but also what
Less Might Be More
How does social interaction work
the social signals
when none of the cues available in
What happens when most of the
face-to-face settings can be used?
cues available in face-to-face interare in these new,
This might sound like an artificial
actions are no longer at one's distechnology-mediated
and unrealistic situation, but it is
posal? In the case of phone calls,
exactly what happens on social
where the only source of social
settings and how they
media, where millions of people
signals is speech, everyday expeare exchanged.
interact without displaying any of
rience suggests that there are no
the social signals that they typimajor problems in interacting with
cally use in colocated interactions.
others. This is probably why phone
Some surrogates are available; emoticons and thumbs-up
calls tend to be considered substantially equivalent to
icons are probably an attempt to transfer facial expressions
colocated conversations [29]. The time spent in calls has
and gestures to the online world, but most of the interacincreased as a result of the diffusion of mobile phones, and
tions involve cues that have no equivalent in ordinary, faceevidence shows that mobile phones do not merely transmit
to-face social contacts.
speech signals from one place to the other-they change
Picture sharing provides a possible example of this
the way people interact [30].
type of online interaction. According to the surveys of the
Negotiation, one of the most common interaction modes
Pew Research Center, 46% of U.S. Internet users post origiof everyday life, provides an interesting example. The
nal pictures or share online images posted by others [33].
experiments presented in [31] analyze negotiations carried
One of the main motivations behind the use of photo-sharout over the phone by 60 pairs of unacquainted individuals
ing platforms is to maintain contact with others [34]. In
(120 subjects in total). The experimental protocol and scethis respect, pictures play the role of an online social curnario are designed to put the two subjects involved in the
rency [33]. However, it is still an open question whether the
negotiations on an even footing. The only (inevitable) difpictures work as social signals according to the definitions
ference between the participants of a call is that one makes
provided at the beginning of this article [1]-[3]. In other
the call while the other receives it (the assignment to one of
words, it is still an open question whether the pictures
the two conditions is random). In principle, this should not
work like nonverbal cues in face-to-face encounters and
influence the outcome of the negotiations, but the results
fulfill at least some of the functions illustrated in Figure 1.
show that the subjects receiving the call win 70% of the
14

IEEE Systems, Man, & Cybernetics Magazine A pr il 2015 	



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015

Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - Cover1
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - Cover2
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 1
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 2
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 3
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 4
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 5
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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 12
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 13
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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 16
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 17
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 18
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 19
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 20
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 21
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 22
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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 27
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 28
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 29
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 30
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 31
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 32
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 33
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 34
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 35
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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 46
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 47
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 48
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - Cover3
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