Our Research

We study the production and comprehension of verbal and nonverbal behavior across a variety of communicative settings. The verbal and nonverbal behavior includes fillers, hedges, discourse markers, backchannels, quotation devices, prosody, facial expressions, and gestures. The settings include face to face communication, virtual communication (such as audiovisual internet chat), vicarious learning (such as learning by listening in on others’ communication), and written communication. Some of the topics we explore are how sarcasm is produced and understood, how people respond to nonhuman agents, and how people come to be swayed by fake news. The methods we use in the lab include corpora analyses, reaction time experiments, referential communication tasks, questionnaires, and analyses of speech produced under controlled conditions.