Theories of CMC and HCI


The lecture provides a comprehensive overview of social science, communications, and psychological theories underpinning phenomena in computer-mediated communication, CMC for short, and human–computer interaction, HCI for short. Specific contents from the field of computer-mediated communication are the role of e-mail, social media, MMORPGs, online chat, blogs, and text messaging in communication processes, cues-filtered-out theories, experiential and perceptual theories of CMC, theories of interpersonal adaptation and exploitation of media, and challenges in CMC research

Specific contents from the field of human–computer interaction are social effects in human–computer interaction and social robotics, as well as explanations for social effects such as media equation, the threshold model of social influence, and anthropomorphism.

Additionally, transfer topics such as the psychology of rating and recommender systems and the question of where HCI and CMC start or vice versa are addressed.

Learning Goals

Students acquire a state-of-the-art overview of theories for computer-mediated communication and human–computer interaction, including knowledge about their applicability and validity in different problem settings.

Academic Assessment

Written exam with a duration of 60 minutes or oral exam with a duration of 30 minutes or written assignment with an oral presentation or term paper. Form of exam will be announced at beginning of semester.