How Do Periods Affect the Perception of Tone in Text Messages?

  • Alisha Arora Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Danica Foster Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Ravneet Sandhu Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Elia Hadley-Burke Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Laiba Abid Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Keywords: CMC, period, passive-aggressive, text messages, perception of text messages, computer mediated communication


The increased use of computer mediated communication (CMC) in the present time prompted our research to verify if the use of a period at the end of a sentence affects the perception of the tone of the text message. We hypothesized that text messages ending with a period would be perceived as more passive-aggressive compared to text messages without a period by college-aged students. We used two groups of participants where the control group was presented with text messages ending in a period and the experimental group was presented with text messages ending without a period. Using an independent samples t-test, we found a significant difference between the two groups, in the direction of our hypothesis.

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