Interviewer influence on durations of interviewee speech

Joseph D. Matarazzo, Morris Weitman, George Saslow, Arthur N. Wiens

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47 Scopus citations


Two experiments are described in which the interviewer, using open-ended non-directive questions, controlled the durations of each of his own comments throughout an interview in order to study his influence on the durations of the interviewee's responses. Two durations of interviewer's utterance (5 sec versus 10 sec) were employed in counter-balanced designs. Although the interviews seemed to be typical non-directive ones, the results show the striking influence of changes in the interviewer's speaking durations on corresponding durations of speech of interviewees. For the two durations employed by E in the present study, a change in his own single units of speech from 5 sec to 10 sec was associated with a similar increase in the duration of single units of speech he elicited from S (i.e., a change from roughly 25 sec to 50 sec). Comparable changes were obtained in S's speech behavior when E changed his own interviewing style from 10-sec utterances to 5-sec utterances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1963
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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