Using the smiley face emoji in business makes people think you’re dumb

“It has been scientifically proven that the more you smile the more people like you, but it turns out this this pattern might not necessarily translate all that well in the language of emoji,” TheNextWeb reports. “Researchers from the University of Amsterdam, the University of Haifa and the Ben-Gurion University in Israel have discovered that using smiley face emoticons in formal business communication could be causing your colleagues and customers to doubt your brains.”

“‘Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence,’ Ben-Gurion’s post-doctorate fellow Dr. Ella Glikson told EurekAlert. ‘In formal business e-mails, a smiley is not a smile,'” TNW reports. “The outcome revealed that, contrary to smiling in person, the smiley emoticons had no effect on these aspects in online communication. In fact, the researchers discovered that smiley face emoji bore a negative impact on the receiver’s perception of the sender.”

“The experiment also showed that, when anonymous, senders who included smiley face emoticons in their emails were often presumed to be women” TNW reports. “This, however, had no relation to the evaluation of the individual’s competence or friendliness factors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What about this one?

Crazy Apple Watch Emoji

[3:13pm EDT: Fixed link. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “thetheloniousmac” for the heads up.]


  1. I’ve seen a lot worse. Especially the stupid ‘motivational’ gifs that some overly idiotic manager(s) uses to supposedly boost morale. Instead, I’d just like to smash his face in with a baseball bat. That would definitely improve morale!

  2. There is another study, and it seems quite well documented, that concluded that people who use emoji in their texting have sex more frequently than those who don’t use emoji. Apparently, the correlation was there both for men AND women.

    How are the two connected is quite baffling (for researchers, too).

    1. I tend to reserve emoji use for desired sex partners, whether or not consummation is feasible. 😉 It is a dimension of communication that garnishes food for thought.

  3. Give it time. I don’t use emojis in business comms, but less than a generation ago software developers had to go to work in suits and ties, and anyone wearing anything less was considered unprofessional.

    These days though, devs who suit up for their day job… hell, even devs that show up to interviews in a suit… are the ones that aren’t taken seriously.

  4. The Joy Of BizTards

    …Using smiley face emoticons in formal business communication could be causing your colleagues and customers to doubt your brains

    More typical would be bizTards responding from the depths of their profound insecurity within the Biznizz regime with scapegoat/shaming behavior in order to make others think they’re better than you. AKA Fake Arrogance. – – Seriously, it’s fairly easy to know who are the confident people in business. They’re not the ones trying to destroy others. It’s more likely they’re trying to collaborate with others.

    Ranting on: I had a female professor who taught Organizational Behavior who dared we males to wear pink shirts and not red ties in order to draw attention to the fact of our self confidence and female friendliness. She was great.

    To this day, whenever I spot a red tie, I chant to myself “red tie reTard!” [And yes, I reserve the right to use that word. Deal with it. I’m very specific where I direct it, and it’s not at the disabled. So there. Happy italics day!]

    1. the pink-shirt-to-prove-you’re-a-real-man tradition started with John Wayne. At least that’s when I first noticed it in his movies. What was really annoying, in my early years in the Biz, was needing to wear severe, Navy blue suits and sensible heels. I prefer loungewear and flats, but that doesn’t go over too well in a stuffy boardroom for some dark, historical reason I haven’t managed to fathom.

      1. severe, Navy blue suits and sensible heels

        The woman’s ‘monkey suit’. But your red hair will always remain a fashion statement from the depths of nature itself.

        Business suit uniforms yell at me the protectionist attitude of a lot of businesses, protection from imagination and creativity. That and of course the constant fear in the male of the species of anything that might be interpreted as ‘queer’. Being at ‘team player’ is one thing. Being a sheeple is another, IMHO.

        Another interpretation: A company that is not busy being entrepreneurial is busy stagnating. (Reworking of a Bob Dylan lyric).

        Then again, there’s a sense of relief for some creative people when they can simply put on a uniform of their choice every day, ignore the fashion play and get to work making stuff. That was Steve Jobs’ approach.

  5. Has anybody read the actual paper? TNW uses both “emoji” and “emoticon” in its brief, but the abstract of the paper itself (full text behind a paywall) only mentions emoticon.

    1. You’ve read the article and the linked article carefully, applied critical thinking to what was written, have made an intelligent and factual observation and avoided something based on opinion or prejudice..

      What the hell are you doing in place like this?

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