Current Projects

(1) Bavelas, Gerwing, and Healing (2017) have shown that interlocutors calibrate their understanding in three-step micro-sequences: A introduces new information, B responds, and A follows up with evidence that B 's response displayed sufficient understanding for current purposes. Without the third step, B would not have evidence of mutual understanding. Analysis of face-to-face getting-acquainted conversations confirmed our three hypotheses: (a) Calibrating sequences were continuous throughout these dialogues; 97% of the 1232 utterances that introduced new information were followed by the second and third steps. (b) The micro-sequences were short, averaging 5 s each. (c) They were also efficient, with almost two-thirds of the utterances playing a role in more than one sequence.

Gerwing and Healing are comparing calibration face-to-face and telephone dialogues. De Jong, Smock Jordan, Gerwing, and Healing are examining calibration in psychotherapy sessions.

(2) Bavelas is writing a book, Pragmatics of face-to-face dialogue, which covers our program of research since the original Pragmatics of human communication (1967).