Getting Help, Face-to-Face or Not? (12-27-21)

Research completed by Roghanizad and Bohns confirms the value of face-to-face communication in particular situations.  Roghanizad and Bohns report that Research has found that people are much more likely to agree to help requests made in-person than those made via text-based media, but that help-seekers underestimate the relative advantage of asking for help face-to-face. It remains unknown what help-seekers’ intuitions about the effectiveness of richer media channels incorporating audio and video features might be, or how these intuitions would compare to the actual effectiveness of face-to-face or email versus rich media requests. In two behavioral and two supplemental vignette experiments, participants expected differences in the effectiveness of seeking help through various communication channels to be quite small, or nonexistent. However, when participants actually made requests, the differences were quite large. Ultimately, help-seekers underestimated the relative advantage of asking for help face-to-face compared to asking through any mediated channel. Help-seekers also underestimated the relative advantage of asking through richer media channels compared to email.”

M. Roghanizad and Vanessa Bohns.  “Should I Ask Over Zoom, Phone, or In-Person?  Communication Channel and Predicted vs. Actual Compliance.”  Social Psychological and Personality Science, in press,