Relationships & Love

Feeling Romantic? Send An Email

If you want to show someone you’re romantically interested in them, send an email – and don’t leave a voicemail.

The finding, by researchers from Indiana University, contradicts previous research that said a voicemail is a more intimate way to connect with someone. The study will be published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

“The bottom line is that email is much better when you want to convey some information that you want someone to think about,” said one of the authors, Alan R. Dennis, the John T. Chambers Chair of Internet Systems in IU’s Kelley School of Business.

In their study, Dennis and co-author Taylor M. Wells, an assistant professor of management information systems at California State University-Sacramento, analyzed our emotional response to email and voicemail.

According to a release from IU, the researchers used psychophysiological measures from 72 college-age people and found that people who sent romantic emails were more emotionally aroused and used stronger and more thoughtful language than those who left voicemails.

The research was conducted by placing skin sensors on the subjects’ faces to measure muscle movement associated with positive and negative emotion, and on their feet to measure arousal. Subjects were randomly chosen to do voicemail or email first and produce a utilitarian or a romantic message first.

Gender was not found to be a factor.

“There’s a lot of theory that says email and other text communications don’t really work very well,” Dennis added. “We should probably go back and reconsider a lot of the stereotypical assumptions that we hold about email and text messaging.”



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