Surely it has happened to you some time that someone sends you a Whatsapp finished in point and end and you think “God, he’s angry, what will I have done?” . It is one of the problems of the world in which we live. The lack of interpersonal communication Face to face, we have to replace voice modulation, facial gestures and other elements of nonverbal communication by punctuation or emojis. It is curious that many people have associated the end point to be unpleasant, sharp or edge , and a study has shown that, indeed, it is like that. Point.
He Article , titled “Punctuation in text messages may convey abruptness. Period” and with Celia M. Klin, from the Department of Psychology at Binghamton University (New York), in the lead, pick up the glove thrown by previous research that already advanced that add a period and end after a response of a single word (as “Yes.”) Makes This is perceived by the reader as “Less sincere” . The study of M. Klin consists of a series of three experiments carried out in 49 students (10 men and 39 women) from the university mentioned above.
At experiment 1 -which sought to replicate the previous research but with longer answers (two or three sentences) -, the students received a series of tabs with screenshots in which the message sent was seen on one side and the response received on the other. They were asked to put themselves in the place of the issuer and rate how they perceived the response. Indeed, the students understood that the answers finished in point seemed “Less sincere” .
In the second trial the first one was answered , but with negative responses of a single word (“No.”, “Nope.”, “Nah.” …). The results show that, obviously, the students perceived the answers as negative, but those that finish in point seemed more. In other words, “No” is perceived as less negative than “No.”
Taken together, the results of experiments 1 and 2 support the conclusion that the inclusion of the point after a single-word text message, where it is grammatically unnecessary, may make it appear more abrupt or more negative. This is true even when the answer is already negative (M. Klin, 2018) – Excerpt from the article.
Finally, in the third test it was checked how the end point was perceived in a confusing answer: “Maybe”, “Can,” “Okay” . As you can imagine, the perception is negative, whether or not there is a final point, although it is understood as “More negative” in the presence of this . In fact, another researcher says that “I probably write ‘haha’ in almost all my text messages to my friends because if I send one-word answers it’s like something bad” (Baron & Ling, 2011, p.53).
As you can see, although it is an investigation with a somewhat sketchy and skewed sample that we can not extrapolate to the whole world, it serves to show that, definitely, the end point is synonymous with negativity and seriousness . This may be because the ending point, in spoken language, is translated as the end of a sentence, as ending a conversation, as be clear in the answer.
The tendency of the written text is to write as it is spoken, so it is ‘normal’ that the score is perceived with emotions that do not have to be such . That is because there is a hole of expressiveness in the written communication provoked, as we said at the beginning, by the lack of paralanguage . “The frequent use of text messages and other forms of electronic communication has created a gap between what can be expressed in writing and what people want to convey. As with any need for unsatisfied language, new linguistic constructions will emerge to fill the gap ” , says the author of the study.
Could this emptiness is being filled by emojis, images or GIFs ? We will be attentive to future studies that may shed some light on this issue.
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