An investigation into encouraging higher user self-disclosure during text-based computer mediated communication: A case study of prompter communication system

Li Jen Chen, Mutsumi Suganuma, Shigekazu Sakai, Jun Ohya, Shunichi Yonemura, Yukio Tokunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An investigation into encouraging higher user self-disclosure during text-based Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) system known as the Prompter Communication system (PCS), proposed by Yonemura et al. in previous studies, in which 1 to 3 black circular prompter images ("•") are embedded onto the background of a text-field canvas as stimuli and as an embryonic basis for conversation, have been investigated and evaluated. The effects on supporting the projection or reflection of generated mental representations onto messages with the "•" prompter image as part of the representations within the message contents have also been examined. During the investigation, the concepts and features of the Geneplore cognitive creative thinking process model, together with self-projections, were integrated into the proposed system. Based on these concepts and features, the PCS aims to encourage users to express their mental representations by projecting or reflecting them onto the messages in combination with the provided "•" prompter image as part of the message contents. Communication experiments using the prototype PCS system have been conducted, where a Normal Communication System, NCS which uses only a plain text-field canvas without the "•" prompter image, is compared with the PCS. The experimental results indicate that communication conducted using the PCS results in an increased number of messages with the "•" prompter image(s) involved as part of the message contents than as background images. Further analysis into the self-disclosure level of the message contents and the relationships between the degree of self-disclosure and the representations of the "•" prompter image(s) within the messages have indicated that the degrees of self-disclosure increases when the "•" prompter image(s) are used to represent the participant him/herself, or the participant's thoughts and emotions, and decreases when the "•" prompter image(s) are used to represent animals or objects, or when the "•" prompter image(s) presented within the messages have been ignored. Investigations into the differences in self-disclosure level between message contents from both the PCS and the NCS have shown that using the PCS results in a generally higher degree in the average frequency of the appearance of high self-disclosure information than when using the NCS. During the conversation, these messages contain information with a high level of self-disclosure, which, consequently, may further lead to the development of intimate and deep interpersonal relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Institute of Image Electronics Engineers of Japan
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • CMC
  • Communication
  • Prompter communication system
  • Self-disclosure
  • Self-projection
  • Stimuli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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