Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Ardith Meier


Body language;


When interacting with someone in a face-to-face setting you not only communicate with spoken words, but with other sorts of communicative tools, such as tone of voice or facial expressions. However, now interlocutors are frequently communicating through channels, such as email, that restrict their ability to use such tools. Therefore, one may wonder how one retains the same level of communication. The purpose of the research reported in this paper was to attempt to attain a better understanding of the ways in which people interpret text-based computer-mediated communication (e.g. texting, instant messaging, and email). More specifically, this study looks at how certain nonverbal cues, such as emoticons or non-standard punctuation, are comprehended and interpreted by individuals of various age groups. Such studies are becoming increasingly more important as the use of communication technologies becomes more frequent in both workplace communication and in people’s daily lives. Identifying differences in the extent to which such nonverbal cues are comprehended by different age groups can assist in the avoidance of misunderstandings and contribute to better communication of affect among diverse interlocutors, which is a reality in today’s workplace.

Year of Submission



Department of Languages and Literatures

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (17 pages)