Publication Date



School of Behavioral Sciences


Interdisciplinary Studies; Psychology


technology mediated communication, virtual communication, punctuation, emoji, miscommunication


Multicultural Psychology | Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics | Social Psychology


Technology Mediated Communication (TMC) has become an essential part of interpersonal communication. Punctuation and emoji are major vessels of nonverbal communication in texting. The impact of punctuation and emoji use on perceptions of warmth was tested with 291 residential undergraduate students at Liberty University who were at least 18 years old. Through an online questionnaire, participants read a series of text messages with a randomly assigned condition of having either punctuation and emoji, punctuation and no emoji, no punctuation and emoji, or no punctuation and no emoji. Results indicated a significant main effect for the presence of emoji on perceived warmth, such that emoji use was associated with higher ratings of warmth. The main effect for the presence of punctuation and the interaction were not significant. Findings expand on previous research by confirming the use of emoji as social markers, while also enhancing perceived warmth. This research has implications for virtual interactions in both personal and professional settings.