|TITLE:||PLEASE SMILE :) IF YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEAN: THE FUNCTION OF EMOTICONS IN TEXT MESSAGES|
|PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:||STILL, MARY|
|OTHER INVESTIGATORS:||ASHLEY WALLER|
File Created: October 16, 2012|
Department Chair Action Date: October 16, 2012
Current Status: Expedited Approval Granted
Action Date: October 17, 2012
Approval Expiration Date: October 17, 2013
|Confidentiality||Data are not linked to individuals|
STATEMENT OF PURPOSEThe purpose of the present study is to see if emotional icons used in sentences convey more than just emotional information. With the increased prevalence of text messaging it has become important to systematically investigate the way in which emoticons are interpreted. Previous research suggests that emoticons convey nonlinguistic information that is lacking in computer-mediated communication (e.g., Dresner & Herring, 2010), but there has been no research investigating inferences than may be made from the emoticons. This study will examine whether or not emoticons elicit anything beyond emotional information.
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGYBefore starting the experiment the participants will be given an informed consent document detailing the general procedure of the experiment, the risks and benefits associated with the experiment, how their results will be kept confidential, and their right to withdraw without penalty. In addition, demographic information will be collected including the participantís age, sex, and text messaging experience. During the experiment participants will see statements that contain assertive, directive, or expressive phrases, and/or emoticons. The phrases may have positive, negative, or neutral connotations. The participant will complete four rating scales for each stimulus; the scales will measure general emotional valance (positive/negative), politeness, ambiguity, and seriousness. After completing the scales, participants will be given four alternate interpretations of the message and will be asked to select which interpretation best matches the intention behind the message. Participants will be debriefed after completing the experiment and will have the opportunity to ask questions about the experiment.
ANTICIPATED RISKS AND BENEFITSThis experiment poses minimal risk to participants. The physical risk is no more than a participant would encounter reading words on a computer screen. Some experimental stimuli may elicit emotional responses in participant, but these responses are expected to be minor. The potential benefit of conducting this experiment is that it would further our knowledge of the role of text messaging emoticons in conveying emotional connotation.
SUBJECT SELECTIONMissouri Western State University students enrolled in various psychology courses will be given the chance to volunteer to participate. Students will be given course credit as determined by their instructors in exchange for their participation. The expected sample size is 60 students.
CONFIDENTIALITYParticipants will be asked to sign their name on informed consent documents, but those documents will not be associated with the results of the survey. Data from each participant will be associated with a number during data entry, but that number will never be linked to the participantís identity. Therefore, the results of the study will be anonymous and confidential. In addition, informed consent documents will be kept in a secure location.
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