Nobody knows when to stop talking

You’d think that conversations would end when one or both people want them to, right? Turns out that they don’t. This research is currently in prep, but here’s a short preview and a poster I’m presenting this weekend at the Society for Judgment and Decision Making.

  • Only 15% of people in our study left their conversations when they wanted to.

  • Half the time, conversation partners didn’t want the same thing. For instance, one wanted to leave sooner, and the other never wanted to leave.

  • People had no idea when their partners wanted to leave. They were off by 61% of the length of their conversation.

  • People thought they wanted to go at roughly the same time. In fact, there were on average 13 minutes between when partners wanted to leave.