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Public PhD Defense of Bernardo Cavalheiro

Bernardo Cavalheiro, a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Program in Psychology, will defend the thesis titled "Individual and contextual determinants of emoji usage and its impact on communication outcomes". The public defense is scheduled for May 7, 2024, 10:00 at room B327 (Building 4) of Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon.


People use computer-mediated communication (CMC) recurrently in their everyday interactions. Particularly in the case of text-based CMC, the expression of social, affective, and non-verbal cues may be limited and lead to poorer communication outcomes. Including pictorial cues—such as emoji—in written communication may overcome these potential limitations, by helping users convey emotional information and clarify the contents of their messages. In the current work, we use complementary methodological approaches to examine the effects of emoji use as a communicational tool and map under which conditions emoji use may impact positively (or negatively) communication processes. Specifically, we present a collection of five articles: a) an experimental study examining the perceived adequacy of emoji use across several contexts and message valence (Article 1); b) a correlational study focused on brand communication settings and perceived adequacy of emoji use (Article 2); c) a correlational study examining individual, relational and motivational determinants of emoji use frequency with different interlocutors (Article 3); d) a set of two experimental studies testing the effects of reciprocity of emoji use on person perception and communication outcomes (Article 4); and e) a set of two experimental studies investigating the mediating role of perceived social presence on the implications of pictorial cues use for person perception and communication outcomes. Overall, this work contributes by mapping important contextual and individual features related to emoji use, as well as by showing the impact of emoji use on important interpersonal dimensions and overall communication.



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