HomePhilippine Journal of Counseling Psychologyvol. 19 no. 1 (2017)

Unveiling the Impact of Emoticons in the Philippine Context

Paolo Gabriel Sabaulan | Lara Eliza Camacho | Bea Angela Rivera | Jose Alberto S. Reyes



Drawing from the theory of Markus and Kitayama (1991) and study of Ishii, Reyes, and Kitayama (2003), we hypothesized that the presence of emoticons positively influences the viewers’ judgments of sincerity of the message sender. A total of 500 Filipino college students were recruited to participate in our experiment where the presence and absence of emoticons were manipulated. Results showed a significant between-group difference in the judgment of sincerity on messages with emoticons and without emoticons, indicating that the participants perceived the messages with emoticons to be more sincere than those without. The within-group comparison did not yield a significant difference. Results reflect the spontaneous attention given to contextual cues when Filipinos communicate with each other.