The Impact of Linguistic Background and Interlocutor Visibility in Zoom Calls on Likeability, Prosocial Behavior, and Communicative Success.

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The continuous rise of speakers using English as a lingua franca (ELF) as well as the acceleration of the use of video calls in work and study contexts have brought more salience to the issue of non-native interaction in computer-mediated communication. Previous studies have suggested that ELF speakers sharing the same linguistic background tend to like each other more and may benefit from an increased communicative success and increased prosocial behavior from their interlocutor as compared to ELF speakers not sharing the same linguistic background. Additionally, previous research has implied that interlocutor visibility seems to positively impact likeability, prosocial behavior, and communicative success. No present study has, however, combined the two contexts of sharing of language background and interlocutor visibility in online settings to examine the effects on the previously mentioned variables. The present study aims to fill this gap in the literature with an experiment in which German and Dutch participants take part in a spot-the-difference task, after which they evaluate each other and their communication in a questionnaire. The results suggest that the sharing of the same language background does not impact likeability and prosocialness evaluations, as well as communicative success. Moreover, interlocutor visibility does not seem to affect likeability and prosocialness ratings but does facilitate communicative success to some degree.
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