Academics should use emojis in emails, says new study

The report from the University of Edinburgh’s Business School has found using them has a positive effect on students

Academics should use emojis in correspondences with students, a new study suggests.

The study released by University of Edinburgh’s Business School suggests students view academics who use emojis in computer-mediated communication (CMC) as more friendly.

The report added that friendly academics have a positive effect on their students’ work.

The report did note that students think academics who use emojis are less competent but that this did not adversely affect the students’ work.

Speaking to University Business after the release of the report, lead author Dr Ben Marder said:

“Emoticons and emoji are essential and commonplace in communications outside a professional context, helping portray feelings or a tone of a message in a simple and snappy manner. In a more formal context, such as a work setting, their adoption has been slow due to the perception they are not professional. However, there are clear communication benefits in using emoticons: especially when recipients are under 35.

“My hope is that academics start smiling at students in emails like they would in real life. The results of our study strongly assert that no matter what an academic’s position or age, sending email smileys increases feelings of perceived warmth towards them among their students, as well as their ability to influence students and positively affect evaluations.”


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