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The Face of Online Information Processing: Effects of Emoticons on Impression Formation, Affect, and Cognition in Chat Transcripts
Unformatted Document Text:  Emoticons and Online Information Processing—1 The Face of Online Information Processing: Effects of Emoticons on Impression Formation, Affect, and Cognition in Chat Transcripts EXTENDED ABSTRACT In the last decade, scholarship on computer-mediated communication (CMC) has proliferated, as evident from the quantity of published research (e.g., Bargh, McKenna, & Fitzsimons, 2002; Hancock & Dunham, 2001; Lee, 2004; Sarbaugh-Thompson & Feldman, 1998; Spears & Lea, 1994; Stritzke, Nguyen, & Durkin, 2004; Tanis & Postmes, 2003; Tidwell & Walther, 2002; Vazire & Gosling, 2004; Walther, 1996; Walther & D’Addario, 2001). This sustained body of scholarship has been accompanied by concomitant advancements in communication technology, with the Internet fostering the study of various aspects of social interaction in a multiplicity of venues such as chatrooms, newsgroups, message boards, e-mail, and Websites, among others (see Vazire & Gosling, 2004). As a result, research has been characterized by robust theoretical development (see Tanis & Postmes, 2003; Walther, 1996), while also shedding light on how certain technological affordances (see Norman, 2002) can make CMC approximate the verisimilitude of interpersonal, or face-to-face (FtF) communication. One such device that is especially prevalent in CMC scenarios is an “emoticon” or emotional icon, which serves as a non-verbal cue and has the potential to imbue CMC with commonly- expressed human emotions (see Walther & D’Addario, 2001). Although some research has examined the use of emoticons in online communication (e.g., Witmer & Katzman, 1997; Wolf, 2000), these studies have generally failed to document the psychological effects of emoticons. The few studies that have examined the impact of emoticons have either been restricted to impression- formation effects, examined emoticons as text-based symbols, or have been confined to

Authors: Kalyanaraman, Sriram. and Ivory, James.
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Emoticons and Online Information Processing—1
The Face of Online Information Processing: Effects of Emoticons
on Impression Formation, Affect, and Cognition in Chat Transcripts
EXTENDED ABSTRACT
In the last decade, scholarship on computer-mediated communication (CMC) has
proliferated, as evident from the quantity of published research (e.g., Bargh, McKenna, &
Fitzsimons, 2002; Hancock & Dunham, 2001; Lee, 2004; Sarbaugh-Thompson &
Feldman, 1998; Spears & Lea, 1994; Stritzke, Nguyen, & Durkin, 2004; Tanis &
Postmes, 2003; Tidwell & Walther, 2002; Vazire & Gosling, 2004; Walther, 1996;
Walther & D’Addario, 2001). This sustained body of scholarship has been accompanied
by concomitant advancements in communication technology, with the Internet fostering
the study of various aspects of social interaction in a multiplicity of venues such as
chatrooms, newsgroups, message boards, e-mail, and Websites, among others (see Vazire
& Gosling, 2004). As a result, research has been characterized by robust theoretical
development (see Tanis & Postmes, 2003; Walther, 1996), while also shedding light on
how certain technological affordances (see Norman, 2002) can make CMC approximate
the verisimilitude of interpersonal, or face-to-face (FtF) communication. One such
device that is especially prevalent in CMC scenarios is an “emoticon” or emotional icon,
which serves as a non-verbal cue and has the potential to imbue CMC with commonly-
expressed human emotions (see Walther & D’Addario, 2001).
Although some research has examined the use of emoticons in online
communication (e.g., Witmer & Katzman, 1997; Wolf, 2000), these studies have
generally failed to document the psychological effects of emoticons. The few studies that
have examined the impact of emoticons have either been restricted to impression-
formation effects, examined emoticons as text-based symbols, or have been confined to


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