Certainty and uncertainty markers in manager-employee communication.
This research examines whether language markers, specifically uncertainty markers and certainty markers, have an effect on the perception of the written communication of a manager. Authoritativeness, sociability, trustworthiness and competence are the tested aspects for the perception of the manager. After first reading an e-mail written by a manager containing either no markers, uncertainty markers or certainty markers, participants answered questions about the perception with regard to the authoritativeness, sociability, trustworthiness and competence of the manager. The results show that there is no significant effect of language markers on the perception of authoritativeness, sociability, trustworthiness and competence. However, the small trend that could be seen is that no markers scored highest for all four variables, with certainty markers as runner up, except for sociability, where uncertainty markers was the runner up. The data suggest that a text containing either uncertainty markers or certainty markers will be perceived less positive than a text containing no markers.
Faculteit der Letteren