Publication Type: Extended AbstractAbstract: The multiplicity of venues that the Internet offers for social interaction has led to a sustained body of research in computer-mediated communication (CMC), with a prominent body of scholarship examining the efficacy of distinct non-verbal cues that can help CMC approximate the feel of face-to-face (FtF) communication. One such cue that enjoys ubiquitous use in several online communication environments is the emoticon. Despite their prominent presence, however, little experimental research has examined the psychological effects of emoticons in popular online scenarios. We examine the interplay of emoticons with the gender of the person using them and also explore whether the type of topic under consideration makes a difference. We report results from a fully crossed, 2 (emoticons present, emoticons absent) X 2 (male, female) X 2 (serious topic, non-serious topic) between-subjects factorial experiment (N = 120) and show that the experimental manipulations have an influence on impression-formation, affect, and cognition. The findings have theoretical implications for CMC research and offer a promising direction for future inquiry.