Data for Service with a Smiley Face: Emojional Contagion in Digitally Mediated Relationships

Published: 23 July 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/2h3f6ny77g.1
Leah Smith


This data demonstrates emotional contagion effects within a digital marketing communication. The use of smiling emojis creates a positive affective reaction which mediates the effect on relationship strength within a service marketing context. This effect is conditional upon the existence of a communal relationship. Data was collected in one lab study and two online studies to demonstrate this effect. In study 1, use of biometric equipment shows that unconscious affect, measured through frames spent smiling, serially mediates the effect of conscious (self-reported) affect on relationship strength with the message sender. In studies 2 and 3, the effects of the smiling emoji on positive affect and relationship strength are conditional upon an existing communal relationship between sender and receiver.


Steps to reproduce

Data was analyzed using Hayes Process Macro version 1. In all studies the presence/absence of emoji was the independent variable and Relationship Strength was the dependent variable. Study 1 serial mediation (model 6) is used to show smiling (frames expressing Joy) is the first mediator and self reported positive affect is the second mediator with normative appropriateness applied as a covariate only to the mediators and Relationship Strength as the DV. Study 2 & 3 uses model 8 with communal vs. exchange relationships as the moderator, self-reported positive affect as the mediator, and Relationship Strength as the DV. Normative appropriateness is again applied as a covariate to only the affective mediator.


University of Tennessee


Marketing, Consumer Emotion, Digital Communication, Relationship Marketing, Affective Process