Text Messages Ending With a Period Seem Less Sincere, Study Finds

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Do You End Texts With Periods? Stop It, You Monster.

If you, too, have experienced the paranoia demonstrated by Texter 1, here’s some validation: Research shows that texts that end with a period really do come off as insincere.”The rapid pace of texting mimics face-to-face communication, leading to the question of whether the critical non-verbal aspects of conversation, such as tone, are expressed” via texts, the study said. “We ask whether punctuation—specifically, the period—may serve as a cue for pragmatic and social information.” Led by Binghamton’s Celia Klin, researchers recruited 126 undergraduate students to read a series of exchanges—in the form of a text message or handwritten note—which did or did not include a sentence-ending period.A new study from Celia Klin and a team of researchers at Binghamton University has found that when you end your texts with a full stop, people think you’re being less sincere. The research team led by Celia Klin, an associate professor of psychology at the SUNY school, showed the subjects text messages featuring an invitation to an event — such as “Dave gave me his extra tickets.

It’s not surprising that as texting evolves, people are finding ways to convey the same types of information in their texts,” said lead researcher Celia Klin. The responses without a period were seen as more sincere than those that used punctuation because the additional character suggested less spontaneity and enthusiasm. “Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations … eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on,” said Klin in her report, “Texting insincerely: The role of the period in text messaging.” “Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them — emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation,” she adds. “That’s not surprising, but it broadens our claim,” Klin writes. “Punctuation is used and understood by texters to convey emotions and other social and pragmatic information.” Short written missives like texts lack contextual clues, such as the real-life facial expressions and speaking volume that usually tell us what a person means beneath what they say. So, if you want to appear more earnest when texting the boss, the in-laws, or a new crush, just end all of your typed messages with exclamation marks! (Or compose a handwritten note.) But the study does offer support for the idea that we’re developing new rules in written language to communicate subtleties like passive-aggression.

Future studies in this area could expand the sample size to be more evenly split by gender, and to include non-native English speakers or people from older generations, to shed light on whether impressions of sincerity change when we know we’re texting people from another demographic. In some very recent follow-up work, Klin’s team found that a text response with an exclamation mark is interpreted as more, rather than less, sincere.

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