Media Naturalness Theory - Communication Ambiguity

Communication Ambiguity

Individuals brought up in different cultural environments usually possess different information processing schemas that they have learned over their lifetimes. Different schemas make individuals interpret information in different ways, particularly when information is expected but not actually provided.

While different individuals are likely to look for the same types of communicative stimuli, their interpretation of the message being communicated in the absence of those stimuli will be largely based on their learned schemas, which are likely to differ from those held by other individuals (no two individuals, not even identical twins raised together, go through exactly the same experiences during their lives). According to media naturalness theory, a decrease in medium naturalness, caused by the selective suppression of media naturalness elements in a communication medium, leads to an increase in the probability of misinterpretations of communicative cues, and thus an increase in communication ambiguity.

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