The senders of the messages expected their partners to correctly interpret their tone nearly 80 per cent of the time, but in fact they only scored just over 50 per cent, said the report in Wired.
Those attempting to interpret the message believed they had scored 90 per cent accuracy, according to the results which have been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
"That's how flame wars get started. People in our study were convinced they've accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when in fact their odds are no better than chance," Mr Epley told Wired.
The researchers said people often believed that the tone in their messages was obvious because they could hear it in their head as they wrote.
Full article: http://www.smh.com.au/news/breaking/...mark/2006/02/16/1140052207324.html