Attributions of gender and friendliness to texters who use exclamation marks
Previous research shows that females use more exclamation marks than males, often to establish rapport. The purpose of the present studies was to test whether people associate texters’ use of exclamation marks with friendliness and femaleness. If this association is due to normative expectations, we hypothesized that females would appear less friendly if they did not use an exclamation mark in texting. In Study 1, participants rated a texter using an exclamation mark to be highly female and highly friendly. The gender results disappeared when friendliness was controlled for. In Study 2, we tested whether friendliness ratings decreased if texters violated gender-associated punctuation. Participants rated a texter with a gendered name on friendliness. Regardless of gender, participants inferred greater friendliness to texters using an exclamation mark. That is, there was no evidence of a cost for violating this gender expectation. We conclude that people predict that a texter using an exclamation mark is likely to be female, but do not penalize females for not using an exclamation mark.
- Study 1
- Discussion of Study 1
- Study 2
- Discussion of Study 2
- General discussion
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