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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2005 Dec;89(6):925-36.

Egocentrism over e-mail: can we communicate as well as we think?

Author information

  • 1New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, NY 10012, USA. jkruger@stern.nyu.edu

Abstract

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.

PMID:
16393025
DOI:
10.1037/0022-3514.89.6.925
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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