Sunday, May 17, 2009

E-mail smileys - a great invention.

I am reading "50 Scientific Ways to Be Persuasive", a new book by a group of psychologists, including R.B.Cialdini. Number 47 on their list of topics is e-mail. This relatively new communications technology is lightning fast, efficient, and economical. But it also creates an important problem:

Research conducted by behavioral scientist Justin Kruger and colleagus shows that miscommunications are much more likely to occur through email than face-to-face or over the phone...
... an even more dangerous problem is that the senders ... are almost completely unaware that their messages may be completely misunderstood...
... written communications can't be fully deciphered even by people who are close to one another...

Thus, a great invention - emoticons. Do not forget to sprinkle them here and there in your cover letter when you apply for a new job online ;)

Kruger, J. et al. 2005. Egocentrism Over E-Mail: Can We Communicate as Well as We Think? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2005, Vol. 89, No. 6, 925–936.

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