Impact of Temporality and Identifiability in Online Deliberations on Discussion Quality: An Experimental Study

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Kim Strandberg, Janne Berg
Publisher: Routledge
Publication year: 2015
Journal: Javnost: the Public
Volume number: 22
Issue number: 2
Start page: 164
End page: 180
eISSN: 1854-8377


There is a perception that citizen deliberation brings about higher-quality discussions than
discussions where deliberative norms are not used. Often, deliberations are realised in
mini-publics in which certain contextual features ensure, a priori, that the discussions are
likely to be of a high quality. However, few studies have as yet explored the boundaries of
deliberation; that is, contemplated what happens to discussion quality if the ideal-speech
situation is strayed away from. To address this point, this article reports on an online experiment
in which the discursive setting of citizen deliberations is manipulated. The experiment
(n = 50 participants) was carried out online in Finland in November 2013 in order to test the
impact on discussion quality related to two factors: the temporality (asynchronous or synchronous
discussions) and identifiability of participants (known or anonymous) in an
online deliberation. The findings clearly indicate that asynchronous discussions have the
most positive influence on discussion quality. Moreover, the identifiability factor only had
all weak influence on discussion quality, and there was only one weak interaction
effect between the two factors.


Finland, identifiability, online deliberation, quality of discussion, temporality


Last updated on 2019-18-08 at 05:32