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The Communicative Functions of Emoticons in Workplace E-Mails: :-)

January 23, 2014 Comments off

The Communicative Functions of Emoticons in Workplace E-Mails: :-)
Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

CMC research presents emoticons as visual representations of writers’ emotions. We argue that the emoticons in authentic workplace e-mails do not primarily indicate writers’ emotions. Rather, they provide information about how an utterance is supposed to be interpreted. We show that emoticons function as contextualization cues, which serve to organize interpersonal relations in written interaction. They serve 3 communicative functions. First, when following signatures, emoticons function as markers of a positive attitude. Second, when following utterances that are intended to be interpreted as humorous, they are joke/irony markers. Third, they are hedges: when following expressive speech acts (such as thanks, greetings, etc.) they function as strengtheners and when following directives (such as requests, corrections, etc.) they function as softeners.

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The “Nasty Effect:” Online Incivility and Risk Perceptions of Emerging Technologies

October 30, 2013 Comments off

The “Nasty Effect:” Online Incivility and Risk Perceptions of Emerging Technologies
Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

Uncivil discourse is a growing concern in American rhetoric, and this trend has expanded beyond traditional media to online sources, such as audience comments. Using an experiment given to a sample representative of the U.S. population, we examine the effects online incivility on perceptions toward a particular issue—namely, an emerging technology, nanotechnology. We found that exposure to uncivil blog comments can polarize risk perceptions of nanotechnology along the lines of religiosity and issue support.

That’s Not the Way It Is: How User-Generated Comments on the News Affect Perceived Media Bias

September 25, 2013 Comments off

That’s Not the Way It Is: How User-Generated Comments on the News Affect Perceived Media Bias
Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

This study investigated if user-generated comments on Internet news sites affect readers’ inferences about public opinion, and subsequently, their perceptions of media bias, and how ego-involvement moderates such effects. Supporting the notion that hostile media perception (HMP) stems from defensive processing, those who read others’ comments discordant (vs. concordant) with their own opinion believed that the public was against their position and perceived the news report to be more hostile and partial in its coverage, but such effects were limited to those with higher ego-involvement. Readers’ comments also had a direct effect on HMP among more involved individuals, without altering their perceptions of public opinion, suggesting that people might misattribute the opinions expressed in others’ comments to the news article.

Gender and the Use of Exclamation Points in Computer-Mediated Communication: An Analysis of Exclamations Posted to Two Electronic Discussion Lists

October 14, 2011 Comments off

Gender and the Use of Exclamation Points in Computer-Mediated Communication: An Analysis of Exclamations Posted to Two Electronic Discussion Lists
Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

Past research has reported that females use exclamation points more frequently than do males. Such research often characterizes exclamation points as “markers of excitability,” a term that suggests instability and emotional randomness, yet it has not necessarily examined the contexts in which exclamation points appeared for evidence of “excitability.” The present study uses a 16-category coding frame in a content analysis of 200 exclamations posted to two electronic discussion groups serving the library and information science profession. The results indicate that exclamation points rarely function as markers of excitability in these professional forums, but may function as markers of friendly interaction, a finding with implications for understanding gender styles in email and other forms of computer-mediated communication.

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