Women use emoticons more often, but men have more variety ;-)
Women might use emoticons more than men, but men have a broader emoticon vocabulary.
That's what researchers from Rice University are saying in a new study that evaluated the use of emoticons in text messages.
"This was a unique study in that we were able to collect data from subjects as they used their phones," said Philip Kortum , a psychology professor at Rice, who said it was the first such study to watch subjects "in the wild."
"Most studies had relied on results of self-reported behavior," he said, which is "generally not a very good at reconstructing behavior."
Kortum said the results of this latest study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior , are just one small part of a major investigation into the way college kids, and therefore people in general, use their smartphones.
Kortum and his colleagues enlisted 21 Rice students, 11 women and 10 men, and provided them with iPhones for one year. Each phone was equipped with a custom logger, or tracker, that did not interfere with the phone's use but recorded how, when and where the student used the phone.