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Virtual Meetings in Private, Educational, and Professional Contexts – Effects and Success Factors

WorkgroupEveryday Media
FundingSAW Postdoc Network Seed Funding, IWM budget resources
Project description

With the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many meetings in personal, educational, and professional contexts have been moved to the virtual realm. In a series of experiments and survey studies, this project aims at identifying and better understanding both effects and success factors of virtual meetings. One primary focus of the investigations is individual camera use and its positive and negative effects.

In a world with increasing mobility, videoconferencing platforms seem to be a great way to build and maintain social closeness with others who are physically distant – whether they are family and friends, fellow distance learning students, or remote colleagues. Indeed, when the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic began to place severe restrictions on in-person meetings in early 2020, videoconferencing platforms showed a never-before seen spike in user activity. This rapid adoption illustrates how important it is for humans to connect in ways that allow them to see others.
However, people frequently decide to keep their cameras turned off during these meetings. Currently, it is not well understood what motivates individuals to turn their cameras on or off and what the effects of turning one’s camera on or off are on one’s own and others’ meeting outcomes (e.g., meeting satisfaction, motivation, learning, and feelings of social connectedness). A combination of experiments and survey studies are being conducted to better understand the potential positive and negative effects videoconferences have in daily life, education, and work contexts. Furthermore, factors that may improve videoconferencing outcomes are being investigated. Ultimately, this project may help understand better how communication media should be designed and how virtual meetings should be organized to optimize their outcomes.


Anderl, C. (2023). Drivers and social effects of the decision to turn on one’s camera during videoconferencing in groups. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 17(2). [Data, Data1] Open Access

Reimann, L.-E., Utz, S., & Anderl, C. (2023). Individual and situational factors influencing active behavior in professional video conferences with strangers. Social Science Computer Review, 41(2), 702-723. [Data] request document


Dr. Christine Anderl Dr. Christine Anderl
Tel.: +49 7071 979-329

Project team

Prof. Dr. Sonja Utz