Emotionality in computer-mediated environments: analyzing the emotional content of psychotherapeutic communication

Ebrahim Oshni Alvandi, George Van Doorn, Mark Symmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The present study aimed to investigate the ability of psychotherapists to decipher emotional discourse in computer-mediated communication and whether delivery mediums can increase the ambiguity in their assessment. Ignoring any reduction in efficacy of remote therapy, it is assumed that therapists’ experiences of communication and their ability to construct a diagnosis on the basis of what they perceive will be influenced by Computer-Mediated Psychotherapy. Participants of the study scaled four emotional factors i.e., intensity, valence, potency and activation to measure the constructive nature of emotional discourse. Among other findings, the study showed that estimating emotional factors of communication did not differ significantly across main delivery modalities (i.e., text, audio and video). The results demonstrate further that telecommunication technologies did not alter the diagnostic level of psychotherapists. However, the reduction of emotional perception is very much remarkable for clinicians’ decisions when discourse is communicated via non-human computer-mediated mode.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-43
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Interaction Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2017


  • Telecounseling
  • Cyberpsychotherapy
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Emotional Perception
  • Diagnosis

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