Vocal interruptions in dyadic communication as a function of speech and social anxiety

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The relation between a speaker's personality and his/her propensity to interrupt was examined in 30-min unstructured conversations for 36 dyads of undergraduates (12 male, 12 female, and 12 mixed sex). Two predictions were tested: (a) interruptive behavior is inversely related to speech anxiety and positively related to confidence as a speaker, and (b) interruptive behavior is inversely related to social anxiety (avoidance-distress; fear of negative evaluation). A stepwise multiple regression analysis was performed, controlling for the systematic effects of sex, the conversational partner's personality and amount of speech, and the speaker's use of back-channel responses. These hypotheses were confirmed for rate of total interruptions and rate of successful interruptions, for percentage of successful interruptions, and for mean duration of interruptions; the results withstood cross-validation analysis. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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