The Role of User Demographics, Self-Efficacy and Interpersonal Competence on Communication Style Preferences of Rural University Students
Despite the amount of information known about how people engage in offline social interactions, there is limited knowledge regarding how such interactions express themselves in the online environment. For social interactions to be consistently harmonious, a level of interpersonal competence and self-efficacy are required. The study aims to determine the relationships andthe predictive capacity of user demographics, self-efficacy and interpersonal competence for online communication preferences using an online survey methodology. The sample consisted of 65 males and 158 females attending a rural Australian university whose ages ranged from 17 to 59 years (M=25.06, SD=10.14). Online communication preferences were operationalized as communication style preferences (synchronous versus asynchronous), context disclosure preferences (one-to-one/one-to-many), and platform preferences (social media involving family and friends versus emails involving colleagues). Age and interpersonal competence were significant predictors for communication style preferences in terms of the timing in conversations and platform preferences. None of the demographics, self-efficacy or the interpersonal competence were found to predict context disclosure preferences. The findings extend knowledge in the field of online social interaction research.
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