ERIC Number: ED192415
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
Interruptions: Structure and Tactics in Dyadic Conversations.
Hoffman, Susan Freeman
An exploratory study was conducted to define and differentiate interruptions structurally and tactically. The participants were 60 college students assigned to female-female, female-male, and male-male conversational dyads. The dyadic conversations were recorded for 14 minutes, during a period of "getting to know each other" and during a task of agreeing on the rank order of a list of behaviors. Dyad type was found to have a significant effect on the occurrence of particular types of interruptions. The female-female pairs were more likely to allow interruptions that lasted a substantial period of time without necessarily changing speakers. Female-male dyads exhibited the most proportionate use of "back channel" interruptions (conventional signals of attention to continuous discourse). Females were more likely to engage in interruptions of greater length, where there was no exchange of turns, while males were more likely to engage in interruptions where there was an exchange of the speaking turn. Dyad type correlated with interruption tactics, with more topic changes and connections (bringing together two entities or separate parts) occurring in dyads where males were present. A pattern of interruption behavior emerged indicating that once an interruptive behavior occurred, it became established in that conversation and was repeated for a time. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conversation; Interruption
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (30th, Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).