Transcript and Dot Notation

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Sun Feb 26 04:04:34 EST 2006

The Secret Cause of Flame Wars
By Stephen Leahy

     "Don't work too hard," wrote a colleague in an e-mail
     today. Was she sincere or sarcastic? I think I know
     (sarcastic), but I'm probably wrong.

      According to recent research published in the Journal
      of Personality and Social Psychology, I've only a
      50-50 chance of ascertaining the tone of any e-mail
      message. The study also shows that people think they've
      correctly interpreted the tone of e-mails they receive
      90 percent of the time.

      "That's how flame wars get started," says psychologist
      Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago, who
      conducted the research with Justin Kruger of New York
      University. "People in our study were convinced they've
      accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when
      in fact their odds are no better than chance," says Epley.


  Richard Gaskin
  Managing Editor, revJournal
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