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dotPsychologen am Harpur College haben vor ein paar Monaten festgestellt, dass der Punkt (this guy „.“) Postings und Messages unglaubwürdiger macht, anscheinend übernimmt der Punkt in Text-Messages eine emotionale Funktion a la „sure, whatever“ und Ausrufezeichen haben anscheinend den gegenteiligen Effekt – take this period lol omg we're doomed kiss your punctiation goodbye idiocracy etc etc!

A team of researchers led by Celia Klin, associate professor of psychology and associate dean at Harpur College, recruited 126 Binghamton undergraduates, who read a series of exchanges that appeared either as text messages or as handwritten notes. In the 16 experimental exchanges, the sender’s message contained a statement followed by an invitation phrased as a question (e.g., Dave gave me his extra tickets. Wanna come?). The receiver’s response was an affirmative one-word response (Okay, Sure, Yeah, Yup).

There were two versions of each experimental exchange: one in which the receiver’s response ended with a period and one in which it did not end with any punctuation. Based on the participants’ responses, text messages that ended with a period were rated as less sincere than text messages that did not end with a period. […]

“Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations. […] People obviously can’t use these mechanisms when they are texting. Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them — emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation.” In some very recent follow-up work, Klin’s team found that a text response with an exclamation mark is interpreted as more, rather than less, sincere.

NYMag: The Period Isn’t Dead, But It Is Niche Now.

In the study, according to the Washington Post, “experimental messages featured an invitation followed by a brief reply. When that reply was followed by a period, subjects rated the response as less sincere than when no punctuation was used. The effect wasn’t present in handwritten notes.”

The period has become a small form of aggression, redundant in an age of speech bubbles and line breaks.