The Effect of Emoji on Person Perception

Muhammad Rizal Fadhli Wibowo, Rufaida Ats-Tsiqoh, Siti Sangadah, Evy Sulfiani Komala, Aris Budi Utomo


The use of chatting applications as a way to communicate is rising in this digital era. There are some differences between application-based chatting and face-to-face chatting. Despite the absence of some features that exist in normal conversation, people could still generate impressions using existing information or cues. Previous studies indicated that emoticons and smileys could affect people’s impressions about others. The current research was conducted to find out whether emoji would yield similar results. A sample of 48 college students was involved. An attempt to control the effect of participants’ moods was also conducted in this study. The experiment adopted a between-participants-posttest-only design with two experimental groups and a control group. Participants were given a written conversation between two people, which contained smiling emoji, disturbed emoji, or no emoji. Using the Kruskal-Wallis test, p value = 0.021 was obtained and it was lower than the alpha (p<.05), indicating that there was a significant difference between the three groups. Implications to practice that are related to impression management and future researches, such as conducting another identical researches in work setting and the use of different age groups, are discussed further in this article.

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