As much as I don’t like email, it is unfortunately still the most widely accepted form of business communication. I send a ton of emails every day, but one thing I never realized is that my email style reveals a lot about my personality. It’s true. Not only do the words in your emails reveal your gender, they can also reveal your emotions (when you don’t intentionally want to convey them) and hint at your personality traits.
Apparently email messages are reliable data when trying to uncover information about a particular person. Researchers at the National Research Council Canada are the ones who discovered the hidden messages our email style could be sending to people.
The team used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to determine the emotion attached to 24,000 words. The team went on to create an algorithm to analyze words used in other short amounts of text like those found on Twitter. According to an article just published on New Scientist:
“The results showed a marked difference between sexes. Women had a tendency to use words relating to joy or sadness, while men favored those associated with fear or trust. Both sexes used more joyous and cheerful words when writing to women, and men used more anticipatory language when writing to women, such as “prepare” or “hope.”
Of course, their findings go far beyond just this. It’s so interesting to learn that something as simple as our email style can tell another person a lot about us. There is still much more research to be done before the team can determine that their findings are true for everyone’s emails. So for now, your email messages cannot be officially deciphered and translated into a bunch of personal data.
In our world of online dating and Internet romances, can you imagine if someone plugged another person’s emails into a database to get a list of personality traits? This research is not sophisticated enough to do that now, but you know it’s coming. I guess that’s one optimized way to find out whether or not you are compatible with that person you’ve been flirting with lately.