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IACM 2022

IACM 2022 Abstract Book »

Friction in Everyday Conversation: Psychological Barriers to Having Good Conversations and How to Overcome Them

Having a good, and productive, conversation is difficult for at least two reasons. First, language imperfectly captures mental content; thus a communicator’s true intent can only be indirectly inferred rather than directly observed (the “translation problem”). Second, conversationalists fall short in seamlessly and accurately understanding each other’s different preferences and perspectives during conversation (the “coordination problem”). New research addresses both problems and suggests a solution. First addressing the translation problem, Batista et al. show when and why communicators have trouble saying what they mean (“misarticulation”). Next addressing the coordination problem, Sezer et al. identify a particular turn-off in conversations: hearing someone say “I told you so.” Welker et al. then demonstrate that people tend to be pessimistic in their conversational abilities. Finally, Abi-Esber et al. suggest a way to improve conversation: preparing for a conversation by brainstorming topics to discuss. This symposium sheds new light on friction in everyday conversations.

Juliana Schroeder
UC Berkeley
United States

Rafael Batista
University of Chicago
United States

Aastha Mittal
UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Sendhil Mullainathan
University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Ovul Sezer
Columbia University

Sal Affinito
Harvard Business School

Brad Staats
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Christopher Welker
Dartmouth College

Jesse Walker
Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

Erica Boothby
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Thomas Gilovich
Cornell University

Nicole Abi-Esber
Harvard Business School

Alison Wood Brooks
Harvard Business School

Michael Yoemans
Imperial College London

Jonah Berger
University of Pennsylvania


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