Kruger, Justin; Epley, Nicholas; Parker, Jason; Ng, Zhi-Wen
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 89(6), Dec 2005, 925-936.
Without the benefit of paralinguistic cues such as gesture, emphasis, and intonation, it can be difficult to convey emotion and tone over electronic mail (e-mail). Five experiments suggest that this limitation is often underappreciated, such that people tend to believe that they can communicate over e-mail more effectively than they actually can. Studies 4 and 5 further suggest that this overconfidence is born of egocentrism, the inherent difficulty of detaching oneself from one's own perspective when evaluating the perspective of someone else. Because e-mail communicators "hear" a statement differently depending on whether they intend to be, say, sarcastic or funny, it can be difficult to appreciate that their electronic audience may not. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)