Worth the wait? The effect of responsiveness on interpersonal attraction among known acquaintances

Matthew Heston*, Jeremy Birnholtz

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Scopus citations


As users adopt new communication technologies, they also develop new norms and expectations about responsiveness: the time it takes an interaction partner to respond to a message. Prior work suggests violation of responsiveness expectations can lead to negative evaluations, but this has not been studied within the modern communication ecosystem, where ubiquitous mobile devices and connectivity enable constant contact with friends and colleagues. We present results from a lab-based experiment examining how violation of such expectations can affect interpersonal attraction. In studying pairs of known acquaintances, we find that low-responsive partners are rated lower in social attraction than high-responsive partners. We also provide an exploratory analysis of chat logs from the experiment which indicates that responsiveness behavior is part of an interactive process where parties involved negotiate for each other’s attention over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollaboration and Technology - 23rd International Conference, CRIWG 2017, Proceedings
EditorsJulita Vassileva, Sergio F. Ochoa, Tomoo Inoue, Carl Gutwin
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319638737
StatePublished - 2017
Event23rd International Conference on Collaboration Technologies, CRIWG 2017 - Saskatoon, Canada
Duration: Aug 9 2017Aug 11 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10391 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other23rd International Conference on Collaboration Technologies, CRIWG 2017


  • Interpersonal communication
  • Messaging
  • Responsiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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