Smiling emoticons in work related e-mails portray low competence, according to a new study.

The paper published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science on July 31 also suggested such emojis could undermine information sharing and may not create a positive reaction regarding the communication.

The study was conducted by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Beer-Sheva, Israel; University of Haifa, Israel; and Amsterdam University, The Netherlands.

They conducted a series of experiments with 549 participants from 29 countries.

According to the study, while smiling during face-to-face communication was perceived as warm and indicated more competence with regards to the first impressions created, a text-based representation of a smile in computer-mediated communication did not have the same effect.

“Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence,” said Ella Glikson, a post-doctorate fellow at the BGU Department of Management, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management, according to a news release.

“In formal business e-mails, a smiley is not a smile.”

Source: IB Times