Communication Accommodation in Instant Messaging: An Examination of Temporal Convergence


Research on communication accommodation theory in online communication has documented convergence primarily in terms of lexical variables. This article presents the results of two studies that investigate convergence in structural variables in instant messaging (IM) conversations. Study 1 examines zero-history, intragroup dyads participating in a task-based IM conversation. Study 2 examines IM conversations between friends and contrasts social and task-based interactions. Results show interlocutors have a general tendency toward convergence on both the length and duration of individual contributions. Results also show differences reflecting relational (friends vs. strangers) and conversational (task vs. social) context that affect levels of convergence as the conversation continues. © 2012 SAGE Publications.

Publication Title

Journal of Language and Social Psychology