This study compared the exchange of emotional content in PC and mobile e-mail in business-related discussions. Forty American business people were divided into two groups (PC and mobile e-mail users) and were then assigned to anonymous discussion pairs who exchanged a total of six messages on a predetermined topic. When a message was sent, the writers completed two questionnaires related to 12 target emotions: One questionnaire assessed the emotions they experienced and another estimated their partner's emotional reaction. E-mail readers filled out similar questionnaires. Statistical analysis showed that when emotional exchange was successful, mobile e-mail users more accurately predicted positive emotions than did PC e-mail users. Conversely, when emotional exchange was unsuccessful, mobile e-mail users failed to accurately exchange negative emotions far more than their PC using counterparts. These findings indicate that the communication medium used may influence the exchange of emotional content in text-based communications.
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