Andriana L. Christofalos


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Semantic Congruency Facilitates Memory for Emojis
Andriana L. Christofalos | Laurie Beth Feldman | Heather Sheridan
Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media

Emojis can assume different relations with the sentence context in which they occur. While affective elaboration and emoji-word redundancy are frequently investigated in laboratory experiments, the role of emojis in inferential processes has received much less attention. Here, we used an online ratings task and a recognition memory task to investigate whether differences in emoji function within a sentence affect judgments of emoji-text coherence and subsequent recognition accuracy. Emojis that function as synonyms of a target word from the passages were rated as better fitting with the passage (more coherent) than emojis consistent with an inference from the passage, and both types of emojis were rated as more coherent than incongruent (unrelated) emojis. In a recognition test, emojis consistent with the semantic content of passages (synonym and inference emojis) were better recognized than incongruent emojis. Findings of the present study provide corroborating evidence that readers extract semantic information from emojis and then integrate it with surrounding passage content.