CLS Speaker Series - Jennifer Roche (Kent State University) Miscommunication: A Useful Component of Successful Communication
Apr 29, 2016
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
|Where||127 Moore Building|
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In an ideal world, interlocutors should be explicit and only provide necessary and sufficient information to a conversation partner (Grice, 1975). However, we do not live in an ideal world and much of communication is riddled with unsuccessful attempts. These unsuccessful attempts need not be deemed as detrimental aspects of the communication system, rather as an integral part of how we communicate. In fact, these moments of communication breakdown have the potential to promote adaptation and adjustment during the dynamic exchange of information during interactive communication (Roche, Paxton, Ibarra, & Tanenhaus, under review). In what follows, I will present two studies that focus on 1) how a listener handles ambiguity that might promote communication breakdown and 2) how a speaker’s intention to feign one’s true intentions affects a listener’s ability to represent a speaker’s message. I will show that ambiguity is only sometimes problematic, and the locus of the ambiguity may prompt alignment of effort between speaker’s and listeners (Craycraft, Kriegel, & Roche, accepted). I will also show that interlocutors advantageously withhold extralinguistic information during communication, which has varying outcomes on listener’s comprehension of world knowledge (Roche, Fissel, & Duchi, under review). The results from these studies are meant to show that miscommunication, as situated in context, shapes how a listener interprets a speaker’s message.