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Flame Wars sparked by misread emails

Over at The Inquirer.net, they have a great article about the fact that flame wars are often sparked by misread emails, or if not misread, misinterpreted! Hmmm…this hits home since I know some disagreements have started over similar circumstances. ”According to a new study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people only have a 50-50 chance of detecting the tone of an email. However they actually think they have guessed it right 90 per cent of the time. Psychologist Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago said that this of course leads to flame wars when people misread an e-mail’s content or see a post on a message board. Part of the problem is that people think the tone or emotion in their messages is obvious because they ‘hear’ the tone they intend in their head as they write. Those reading messages interpret them based on their current mood, stereotypes and expectations.” Ok, start the “I hate it when you get defensive like this” replies! ;) * <-j/k