An empirical assessment of second life vis-à-vis chatroom on media perceptual assessment and actual task performance

Chuan Hoo Tan, Juliana Sutanto, Chee Wei Phang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The contribution of media in fostering communications and exchanges of idea is an enduring topic of investigation. However, our review of existing theories on media and human cognition suggests that there remain taunting contradictions in their theoretical assumptions and postulations with regard to computer-mediated communication (CMC) usage. Specifically, the social presence theory postulates that a rich medium could better facilitate the communication activity by promoting a greater "awareness" of the communicating party, which may then lead to better task performance. Yet, a richer medium could also distract an individuals focus of attention as suggested by the cognitive theory of distraction-conflict. To reconcile these contradicting perspectives, this study conducted an empirical comparison of two CMC tools, i.e., Second Life and online chatroom, in terms of users perceptions of the media and their actual task performance in these media. The results suggest that a rich medium, such as Second Life, could lead to better perceptual evaluations of users in terms of telepresence, curiosity arousal, and immersion in media. However, the use of a lean medium, such as chatroom, could lead to better task performance in terms of users recall ability, and the quality of ideas generated during the mediated interactions. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6202682
Pages (from-to)379-390
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Chatroom
  • media perceptual assessment
  • media theory
  • second life
  • task performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'An empirical assessment of second life vis-à-vis chatroom on media perceptual assessment and actual task performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this