Volume 12

The Effects of Communication Preference and Social Skills on Perceived Social Anxiety and Self-Esteem

Nerissa Sanchez and Monica Castillo

Over the past decade, people have come to use computers more and more to communicate; many choose to chat with family, friends or acquaintances via the internet. While some people are more comfortable socializing face-to-face, others who lack social skills may prefer online social interaction. Previous research found that individuals who possess low self-esteem had a higher preference for e-mail than those who had high self-esteem. The present study consisted of 112 undergraduate students who read one of four scenarios concerning a character participating in either face-to-face or internet communication with either high or low social skills. The participants’ perceptions of the scenario characters’ social anxiety and self-esteem were assessed. Results indicated that participants perceived individuals with high social skills to have lower social anxiety and higher self-esteem than individuals who have low social skills. However, there was no difference for communication type. The current research suggests that social skills influenced the way people viewed others’ self-esteem and social anxiety.

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