Safa Razvi

Approach and Avoidance in Emoji Use Motivations

Authors: Safa Razvi (psychology), Robert Martin 

Faculty mentor: Lara Jones


Behavioral inhibition system (BIS) responds to negative stimuli (e.g., punishment) with avoidance, whereas behavioral activation system (BAS) entails an approach towards positive stimuli and includes fun-seeking, drive, and reward responsiveness (Gray & McNaughton, 2000). The purpose of our study was to assess the extent to which approach (BAS) and avoidance (BIS) predicted emoji use above compulsive texting and gender, with women using more emojis (Jones et al., 2020). Adolescents experience greater social reward for positive emojis (Altikulac et al. 2019). Thus, viewing positive emojis as more positive and reward motivation (BAS) should also predict greater emoji use. For undergraduates (N = 299; Mage = 19.66, SDage = 2.72, 55% women), emoji use was significantly correlated with BAS, BIS, gender, positive valence, and compulsive texting. However, BIS was not a reliable predictor. Results suggest that emoji use is motivated in part by the seeking of social rewards.

Poster pitch


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Safa Razvi: Approach and Avoidance in Emoji Use Motivations

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