Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2014

Document Type


First Advisor

Deborah Schooler

Second Advisor

Caroline M. Kobek Pezzarossi


Research in the field of industrial organizational psychology identifies key factors that affect team productivity in the workplace. One such critical factor is communication mode and the integration of technology into work interaction. Using an experimental design modeled after Straus and McGrath's 1994 study on productivity when using face-to-face (FTF) and chatroom communication, this study focuses on a Deaf population and adds computer-mediated video communication. Fourteen groups of 3-5 participants were each assigned one of the three nodes of communication and given three timed tasks to answer together. At the end, participants filled out an individual survey reflecting upon the group interaction process. The results show that FTF performed better only on the idea-generation task (task 1). Scores from the problem-solving task (task 2) and judgment task (task 3) were not impacted by communication mode. Ratings of feeling heard did not show any significance related to communication type. Ratings of feeling valued, however, was higher among FTF communication group than in text or video groups. Future research in the field should recognize the value of video chat and conduct more extensive studies with larger populations. There is also not much research with a Deaf population; increased research with Deaf participants will help people better understand how to best work with Deaf people and provide the maximum productive workplace.

Included in

Communication Commons



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