Do emojis show true emotions
and reveal a person's personality and intentions?
THAT'S the question being asked by psychologists at Edge
Hill University in Lancashire.
In a journal article, that was published, on 17 January 2017, Dr Linda Kaye and Dr Helen Wall ask
whether the use of emojis on social networking sites can help us understand
human personality and behaviour.
With 92% of the online population using them, they believe that by studying this
communication we can gather information to understand human emotions and our
perceptions of each other.
Linda Kaye said:- "Research into the use and interpretation of emojis is
in its infancy, but it has already been shown that they serve important nonverbal
functions in communication and can even provide an insight into the user's
Previous research has explored the neural processes in the brain and how this
differs for sentences with and without emojis. Interestingly, those with emojis
activated both the left and right sides of the brain.
The right side is typically an area associated with the control of emotions,
which suggests a different psychological response to emojis than in verbal tasks
when typically the left side of the brain is primarily dominant. There is
a need for us to study online behaviour to gain further insights into human
behaviour. If we can understand online behaviour, the way people think and
behave then we could also potentially predict behaviour in the 'real' world.
This is particularly important when considering deviance online and how we can
use online data as screening tools to help predict or tackle criminal
The full article is written with Stephanie Malone from Australian Catholic
University in Australia and is available to read in January 2017's edition of Trends
in Cognitive Science (Cell). It is also available in full,