Chronemic Aspects of Chat and Their Relationship to Trust in a Virtual Team

Yoram M. Kalman, Lauren E. Scissors, Darren Robert Gergle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


How does user personality impact pauses in online synchronous chat, and how do these pauses correlate with the development of trust in online teams? An analysis of hundreds of short chat sessions which took place between 62 pairs of participants in the DayTrader social dilemma game reveals a link between chronemic (time-related) variables and personality traits. The three chronemic variables that were analyzed, interpost pause, switching pause, and personal rhythm, were shorter in players who rated higher on extraversion, and longer in players who rated higher on agreeableness. The relationship between extraversion and shorter pauses is comparable to similar findings in spoken communication, while the relationship with agreeableness is novel. Furthermore, an analysis of the relationships between the three chronemic variables and the establishment of trust in the virtual teams confirms the hypothesis that longer pauses are associated with decreased trust. Three non mutually exclusive explanations are offered for this association: 1) longer pauses cause the decrease in trust; 2) longer pauses are the result of increased cognitive load associated with deception creation; and, 3) longer pauses are the result of increased efforts related to the suspicion that deception is taking place.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fifth Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems
Subtitle of host publicationProfessional Development Consortium
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2010


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