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Forester News

Ta article on emojis, dating gets media attention

Vivian Ta, assistant professor of psychology, published an article on the use of emojis as affective signals for relationship-oriented digital communication with Amanda Gesselman and Justin Garcia from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.

Across two separate studies, the paper shows that people who frequently use emojis in their digital communication with potential dating partners may be better at forming connections with others and thus have a more active and successful dating life.

“Emoji use seems to help individuals be more emotionally expressive and engaging—traits that
are linked to building intimacy,” Ta said. “This is important considering that many people now meet romantic partners via digital communication and the ability to convey emotion using this medium provides important cues and signals that people use to assess a potential partner.”

Published on August 15, 2019 in the journal PLoS One, the article has been picked up by numerous media outlets, including the Today show, ABC Eyewitness News in Chicago, the Toronto Sungeek.com and vice.com. Dr. Justin LehMiller, one of the country’s leading experts on human sexuality, wrote a synopsis of the study on his popular blog, Sex and Psychology.