Put on a Smiley Face: Textspeak and Personality Perceptions

Chris Fullwood, Sally Quinn, Josephine Chen-Wilson, Darren Chadwick, Katie Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


With the emergence of web 2.0 there has been a dramatic surge in user-generated content. Although the Internet provides greater freedom in self-presentation, computer-mediated communication is characterised by a more relaxed attitude to grammar, spelling and punctuation. The language of the Internet, or textspeak, may be suitable for casual interactions but inappropriate in professional contexts. We tested participant perceptions of an author’s personality in two distinct contexts (formal vs. informal) and manipulated the written information under three levels of textspeak: none, low and high. Participants judged the author as less conscientious and less open, but more emotionally stable when textspeak was used, however context had no impact. Personality perceptions of textspeak users differ to those who write in standard English and this is likely to extend to informal impression management contexts (e.g. online dating). These findings also have a number of implications, for example in terms of screening applicants via social media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-151
Number of pages5
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number3
Early online date9 Mar 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Mar 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Put on a Smiley Face: Textspeak and Personality Perceptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this