Judgments of communicative intent in conversation

Linda Albright, Alvin I. Cohen, Thomas E. Malloy, Theodore Christ, Gregg Bromgard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In conversation people make specific statements that are intended to accomplish some particular social action (e.g., to praise, criticize or sympathize). To communicate effectively, people must consensually perceive the intentions of each other's messages. In this research we examined the degree of consensus in judgments of communicative intent. Participants engaged in separate, brief conversations with three friends, watched videotapes of their interactions, and judged the communicative intent of 6 randomly selected statements. Observers also judged these statements under one of three conditions: audio-visual, audio, or text. Analyses showed that participants agreed strongly in their judgments of intent and that observers also agreed in their judgments, but not as much as participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-302
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

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