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A relative shortage or absence of social cues in particular forms of interpersonal communication (e.g. sound only) compared with other forms having a greater aggregate of usable social cues (e.g. face-to-face interaction). Such cues include physical presence and visual contact. Rutter and his colleagues found that the more of these cues that communicative participants lack, the greater the sense of psychological distance—the feeling that the other person is ‘not there’. The lack of information had phenomenological consequences. Cuelessness can also facilitate anonymity. See also medium theory; social presence.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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