The science of analyzing conversations, second by second | Elizabeth Stokoe | TEDxBermuda

Translator: Queenie Lee
Reviewer: Ellen Maloney One of the questions I often
get asked as an academic, especially one who studies
things like pauses in talk is: “What is it you actually do,
with that face and that intonation?” Obviously one of the things
I’m going to try and do is explain to you, “What is it I actually do?” But I thought, just for a minute,
I would linger on the question. The question is one of those things
which I would call a ‘first move,’ produced by someone who is a first-mover. You probably all know people
like this in your lives, those people who ask the question
which has got some bite in it, some kind of complaint,
or some kind of agenda in it. “What is it you actually do?” It implies things about
what you do with your life. It puts you in a quite
difficult interactional position in terms of what to do next. Because if you go next and make explicit, the challenge that seems to be
in the question, and say something like, “What you mean what do I actually do?
I wouldn’t you ask that question.” Then the person who went first
might say something back like, “I was just asking.
It’s just an innocent kind of question. God, you’re so touchy!
I can’t say anything right.” All of a sudden, you find yourself as the person who made
a victim of the first-mover rather than that first-mover
being the person who produced an overbearing
first turn in the first place. I’m going to come back to first-movers
throughout this talk, and at the end,
I’m going to try to teach you how to at least have a couple
of ways of handling them, and also figure out
if you are one yourself. But to answer the question,
or to start answering the question, “What is it you actually do?” I thought I’d share the moment
in which my mom suddenly started to understand at least something
about what it is that I actually do. We were driving to see
my late grandmother – who was very old – my mom started to tell me
a story about something that happened to herself
the previous week. She said: “I had a fall.” And I said: “No, Mummy,
you didn’t have a fall, you fell over. You need to own that fall. You’re not Nan, you don’t have falls,
you’re not old enough to have falls. There’s no point in spending money
on anti-ageing face creams, if you age yourself in your language
and talk yourself decades older. You need to anti-age your language, and be someone who falls over
and doesn’t have falls.” (Laughter) All of a sudden she started
to get that the way you describe yourself, and the way we describe other people, has consequences for who we are,
and how we live in the world. Of course, the verbs we use,
the language, the grammar we use, sometimes have really
important consequences, so I’ve done quite a lot of work
on police interrogations of suspects. I’ve got a case in which the suspects
been arrested for assault. The police officer is asking the suspect about various things he may
or may not have done to the victim. He asks the suspect,
“Did you push her to the ground?” The suspect comes back with,
“She fell to the lawn.” What you can see is a sort of push-pull
in terms of versions of things, and the suspect
is replacing the verb ‘push.’ How was it that the alleged victim
went from vertical to horizontal. “Did he push her?”
We see the agent of that movement. Or did she fall without him
being the cause of that movement? And of course, the other
nice detail changed that the police officer asks
about a push to the ground, whereas the suspect says
“A fall to the lawn,” Lawn providing for a relatively
softer landing than the ground, therefore, any injuries
the victim might have had probably weren’t so bad after all. These are the kinds of things
that I get interested in as a conversation analyst. What I’m going to do in this talk
is chop it into two halves. In the first half, I’m going to try and show you
in a little bit of detail what it is that I actually do. Studying talk in a systemic
and scientific kind of way, and then hopefully show you how this kind of scientific
and detailed approach to studying interaction
can have big payoffs when it comes to understanding
professional or workplace encounters. To start off with then,
I’m going to show you the opening few seconds
of two ordinary domestic telephone calls. We’re going to start with Hyla and Nancy. Hyla and Nancy are American friends,
and they’re on the phone. We’re going to see their conversation
roll out line by line, in time with the transcript to allow you
to live through the interaction as it actually happens,
which is how we experience interaction. What you’re going to see
is that their turns as they start this conversation
is going to bounce back and forth. It’s going to be quickly moving along
with their interaction. Here comes Hyla and Nancy
having a familiar kind of conversation, you might have had yourself
many times today already. [1 ((ring))] Nancy: Hello?
Hyla: Hi. Nancy: Hi. Hyla: How are you.
Nancy: Fine. How are you? OK, that’s it, so far. You can see there are also dots
and dashes and stuff on the transcript, which is to do with intonation
and phonetic information, which I will point out
when it becomes relevant, but for now, you can just see that they bounced along
through the interaction. It turns out when we study hundreds
of types of these kind of encounters, openings of ordinary telephone calls, there have a really systematic structure
to them, which you can recognise. First of all, we have a summons:
the phone rings and an answer; then we have greetings and identification- you could all hear
Nancy’s “Hi!” at line four, was a recognition as well as a greeting, and quite in contrast
to her “Hello?” at line two, which was an answering ‘hello.’ And then we have initial inquiries,
the ‘how are you’s’: “How are you?” “Fine,” before you get into
the main business of the call. The fact that these openings
of calls roll out in a systematic way, is going to allow us to see what happens when we get some kind
of divergence in the pattern. Next, we’re going to scoot
over the Atlantic to the UK, and we’re going to see Dana and Gordon. Dana and Gordon, boyfriend and girlfriend,
maybe not for much longer as you’ll see. Before Dana has even started to speak, we’re going to see that
there’s trouble ahead in this call. They are students,
they’re home for the holidays, and here’s Dana trying to talk to Gordon. (Ring) Gordon: Hello. ES: OK! (Laughter) I know, as a conversation analyst,
that there’s trouble ahead. (Laughter) The reason I know this
is because of line three: something doesn’t happen. What doesn’t happen at line three
is a return greeting. Instead, there are seven tenths
of a seconds of silence, and that’s enough to know: troubles ahead. Let’s see what is going to unfold.
Here is line four. Here is Dana. Dana: Hello. ES: She’s returning the greeting
but we can see it’s delayed. What she’s not going to do next is move in
to the sort of, “How are you’s?” Instead, she’s going
to become a first-mover. Here comes Dana’s inserted question. Dana: Where have you been all morning?
ES: Where have you been all morning? (Laughter) We can all recognize that as not
an innocent information-seeking question, (Laughter) but a question
that has got some bite in it. Where have you been all morning,
I’ve been trying to get you all morning, I’m your girlfriend, I ought to know
where you’ve been all morning. What can you do when confronted
with a first-mover? Gordon could say next,
“But what you mean? You don’t own me” What do you mean,
‘where have I been all morning?'” He could start that, and you’re into
some kind of conflict. Instead, another way
to handle a first-mover is to do this: Gordon: Hello. (Laughter) I’m delighted to hear from you! Gordon is going to just do
what Nancy did: “Hi!” I’m just going to do
what comes next in the interaction. Then he’s going to add a little detail. Gordon: Uhm… (Laughter) ES: “Uhms” like this tend to crop up
at places in interaction to mark the prior is inapposite
or unexpected in some kind of way. So here, Gordon is pushing back,
first of all, on the first-move with the “Hello!” – I’m just doing
what normally happens here – and then “Uhm” – I wasn’t really
expecting you to ask that question next – before he answers the question,
and here comes the answer to the question. Gordon: I’ve been at a music workshop. He’s going to try and move
the conversation along into initial inquires. Gordon: How are you? If Dana was now happy and satisfied that she now knows
where Gordon was all morning, and was just going to go:
“Fine, How are you?” and bounce back into the kind
of normal structure we might see, we would see that at eight,
but instead, we see silence. This time half a second, so we know
there’s still trouble in the call. Here comes Dana with her reply,
which probably isn’t going to be, “Fine, How are you?” Instead, she’s going to say: “I’m OK,”
which is quite hearably not fine, and she’s not doing the reciprocal
“How are you?” back to him either. Gordon really is very hearable
that Dana is not fine, there are trouble ahead and problems,
and she wants to have a conversation and he could ask her at ten,
but instead, he says, Gordon: Good. (Laughter) Gordon is really pushing back
on Dana’s project. Dana’s got a project, which is to have a conversation
with Gordon about some trouble, and Gordon has got a project
which is to not go there with Dana. I want you to try
and think of our encounters that we have as being like a racetrack, with a landscape
and a distinct kind of architecture. We start at the beginning of the race
with our recipient or recipients, and along the way,
we proceed along the racetrack, completing projects of various kinds, as we’ve just seen Hyla and Nancy
and Dana and Gordon do. If you just think
about your everyday encounters, there are lots of different
types of racetracks: they might be the telephone calls
you have with the service, doctor-patient conversations,
they might be first dates, the conversations we have
at the checkout at the supermarket. But all of these things
will have a distinct landscape to them, and projects along the way; greetings and questions,
answers and requests and offers, flirts and assessments,
and stories and partings. What we’ve seen so far
is that Hyla and Nancy are kinds of moving smoothly,
progressing around their racetrack, whereas Dana and Gordon
are kind of on the rumble strip at the side of the racetrack,
bumping along. They may or may not get smoothly progressing
around the racetrack ever again. (Laughter) Conversation analysis then: what do we do? What we do is record hundreds of examples
of the same type of encounter, and then what we do
is take those recordings and transcribe them in a lot of forensic,
and linguistic phonetic kind of detail, then look at the entire landscape
of the encounter to establish the component
activities that comprise it. If we can see from Dana and Gordon’s call
that before Dana’s even spoken after that seven tenths
seconds of silence, there is going to be a problem
in that encounter. We can start to see that there might
be a really big payoff to looking at professional encounters,
workplace encounters to try and identify what is working and not working
in those encounters. I’ve done lots of work on things
like police interrogations of suspects, commercial sales calls, a whole bunch of other kinds
of workplace encounters, but I’m going to show you just one example
of the power of conversation analysis to identify things that may work
or may not work in encounters. The setting is one that’s probably
going to be unfamiliar to you, which is good because it puts you in the position of the person
who’s being talked at in this call. The call is from
a big collection of recordings that I’ve got of initial inquiries
into community mediation services, and these are services that exist
to try and help people who’ve got a neighbour dispute. This is a really hard sell
for a mediation service, who first of all is not the go-to service
for someone with a dispute. It’s an unknown service. They’re basically talking to somebody who has already phoned
another organisation, that organisation got some kind of bite
that mediation services don’t have. Zooming back and thinking
about the sort of racetrack and the landscape
of these initial inquiries, one of the projects
that we’re going to zoom in on is the point at which the mediator starts to explain what it is
that mediation is and can offer. It turns out, when you look
at hundreds of instances of these explanations, that there’s basically two main ways
in which the explanation happens: one way nudges the client,
the caller towards being a client, nudges them towards being a “yes”; and the other way leads you
almost immediately to the end of the race. I’m going to show you
an example of a mediator explaining the service
to a prospective client. M: What we do as a mediation service, we help people sort
out their own differences, so we wouldn’t take sides, we wouldn’t try and decide who’s right
or wrong, but would… would try to help you both sort out
the differences between you. ES: Here we have the explanation. These conversational materials provides us with a naturally
occurring experiment. How do you know whether or not
your explanation of a service is working? This and many other mediators have a very similar kind of way
of explaining mediation which I would call a sort of philosophical
or ideological explanation about the ethos of mediation. “We help people sort their own
differences out, we don’t take sides. It’s voluntary, we don’t judge.”
This kind of explanation.” That’s one way to do it. Another way to do it is a sort of
process-oriented explanation, so we do this, we do that, then we do this
and this is how we go forward. A procedural explanation of mediation. The outcome of the success or failure, the effectiveness or otherwise
of this encounter is going to be right in the interaction. You don’t need anything else,
you’ve got the experiment right here. Because if the caller is going
to go with this explanation, we should be able to see
that happening at line seven. So at line seven,
if the caller is enthusiastic, then we might get something like, “Great,
that sounds just like what I need,” or, “Thank you very much,”
“Book me in,” or, “Tell me more.” This is what happens at line seven. [7 (2.5) ] (Laughter) A really sort of tumbleweed dust bunny
kind of silence at line seven. If zero point seven seconds
of silence was enough to know that things between Dana and Gordon
were probably rather doomed; then 2.5 seconds of silence tells us
that this is highly unlikely to be a positive response
forthcoming from the caller. This is what the caller says in response. C: Well, to be honest,
I don’t think she’d cooperate. ES: Here we can see that the mediator
does not know their racetrack. They don’t know first of all,
that this explanation of mediation to somebody who wants someone
to be on their side, as an advocate for them constraining the behavior
of the vile neighbor next door, this isn’t going to work. Yet so many mediators explain
the service in this way. Not only in their initial calls, but also on their websites
and leaflets and so on Presumably the mediator thinks
they’re doing their good job, because they wouldn’t presumably try
to sell their service in a negative way, but they don’t know their racetrack; also, they don’t know
that the most likely way from the caller is the other person won’t. There is a magic bullet
that deals with this: It’s a one-word magic bullet
which I’m not going to tell you now but you can ask me about
later if you want to. One word will kind of fix this, but this mediator doesn’t know
the end of the race is nigh, and the caller is not
going to become a client. These are the kinds of things
that we can really get interested in
as conversation analysts. We can zoom in on particular
projects on racetracks, whether that be mediators and clients,
or doctors and patients look at a particular question design
or a way a request is done, try and figure out what is effective
and what is less effective. What I’ve been doing
for the past two or three years is evolving an approach
to communication training. You can see how this work
can underpin the basis of a really research-grounded
training approach for practitioners. I call it the conversation analytic
role-play method or CARM, because the method works
on the basis of presenting materials in the way that you’ve kind of
been seeing already. What you can do is do the research,
find out how the interaction works on the particular racetrack
you’re interested in. Then find extracts of where we see
one or another outcome, present to practitioners
in real time line by line people doing the job they do, stopping it, getting them to think
about what they might do next, seeing that what the practitioner
really did next and evaluating it. This is how the method works. Let’s go back to the racetrack. Conversation analysts
can identify, in slow motion, scientifically and systematically
how conversation works. We can often upend what we think
we know about, say, how to build rapport
or how body language works. One of the projects that we can
zoom in on is the moment where people want to find
out each other’s relationship histories. I’ve got this gorgeous example of a woman
who is trying to figure out what relationship history
the person sitting opposite her has had. She starts to ask, “Haven’t you ever been…?
Haven’t you ever been…?” She stops and then she says,
“Have you been married?” She starts off asking a negative question-
“Haven’t you ever been married?” That’s definitely
a first-mover kind of question. What do you mean? Should I have been?
You’re feeling defensive. But she stops herself and repairs,
we often do this in interaction. We’ll start something, stop it,
and do something else. She stops herself being a first-mover, and deletes the “ever”
and the negative grammar: “Haven’t you ever been married?”
to, “Have you been married?” That’s a much more positive question, so that’s one thing you can do
if you’re a first-mover, try to stop yourself by asking positive
rather than negative questions. If you are confronted
regularly by first-movers. “What is it you actually do?”
What can you do to that? I think you take a leaf
out of Gordon’s book. Be nice in response, push back, and then hopefully
you will teach the first-mover something about what they’re doing. And if you do both of those things- stop yourself from being a first-mover
and push back against the first-mover- then hopefully your future
racetracks will be smooth. Thank you. (Applause)


  1. Katherine Tardif said:

    I'm totally going to go back through all my favorite videos where two people are having dialogues, and apply what I've learned here.

    September 14, 2015
  2. Glenn McGrew II said:

    Why is it that Elizabeth doesn't understand that the mediators, in presenting their service, are trying to be honest? Indeed, it would be both misleading and potentially criminal for them to state or imply that they'll take sides.

    September 21, 2015
  3. L S said:

    isn't that just common sense?

    September 23, 2015
  4. Edward Metalmaker said:

    sooo… she's saying to be passive aggressive like Gordon…?

    September 28, 2015
  5. David Yates said:

    Well delivered, but boring topic

    October 22, 2015
  6. Gunnar Gunn said:

    That was really interesting and is leaving me hungry for more.

    November 15, 2015
  7. Jeremy S. said:

    Funny that if you have a upper class British accent no matter what you say will be perceived as an expert to Americans.

    November 16, 2015
  8. Jonathan King said:

    British English as a spoken diction is passive aggressive in general. Patronising tones coupled with indirect questions seem designed to pivot a newcomer to the ground with nails. There is a test to see how smart you are too, so one can be pigeon-holed conversationally. Greet every first-mover question with extra zeal and warmth and smile in an approachable way, it will irritate them or relax them, either way it will dismantle their attack systems and let you in on their personality.

    December 2, 2015
  9. Andrew Potterfield said:

    engaging infomercial

    December 7, 2015
  10. myra hope said:

    Omg! Even I could've done a better at this talk and to explain better just over all in all aspects of this talk… Even I could've don't a better Job!!!

    December 29, 2015
  11. myra hope said:

    Omg! Even I could've done a better at this talk and to explain better just over all in all aspects of this talk… Even I could've don't a better Job!!!

    December 29, 2015
  12. Concept Frontier said:

    This is a lot of fun to watch! These conversations are fabulous

    January 16, 2016
  13. CzarDodon said:

    Interesting for sure, and entertaining, but for someone who is an analyst her talk is not very well structured. She raises several questions, sometimes even promises an answer, but she doesn't give one. In the end you're left with a number of unanswered questions.

    January 24, 2016
  14. ARKANSAS Trey said:

    i was hoping there was something to learn from this ๐Ÿ™

    February 14, 2016
  15. Morpheus Titania said:

    Wow great information I am surprised that Elizabeth uses the words 'UM's' and "Try" and "tried" as often as she did. Um is the dumbest word in the dictionary and T-r-y & T-r-i-e-d are virus words. They have zero value

    February 21, 2016
  16. Shmannel said:

    A minute in and she's still got a bug up her ass about bring asked what it is she actually does

    February 29, 2016
  17. Nelson Santos said:

    she ming way people help en other than her atarels bogess or gineas l.o.l saludos core is for not got

    March 3, 2016
  18. Savvas Papasavva said:

    Really enjoyable lecture. I wonder what software is being used to transcribe conversations?

    March 13, 2016
  19. Judy Wallace said:

    I like the circular red carpet

    March 29, 2016
  20. Gino Garzolini said:

    Anyone know of more videos or articles about this stuff???

    April 1, 2016
  21. Pete Fish said:

    No captions for hearing impaired, or als

    April 19, 2016
  22. joshua mar said:

    what was the one word at 16:10

    May 5, 2016
  23. Alexei Aneychik said:

    Ah, why are people laughing? (The second recording makes me feel really afraid for the girl…)

    May 8, 2016
  24. D Wyldon said:

    Only 30 seconds in, but the question I am lingering on is: Why are you wearing sneakers with a suit at a Ted talk ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ?

    May 23, 2016
  25. Antonio Nakic said:

    This looks perfect for a phone app that analyzes your calls and gives you a breakdown of the call when it's done.

    May 24, 2016
  26. David Urban said:

    So many umm's during her talk.

    May 30, 2016
  27. Mary Dailey said:

    can she speak without all the ums

    July 24, 2016
  28. asadss mubuuu said:

    she is hot

    September 30, 2016
  29. Zes said:


    November 29, 2016
  30. Chris Banisch said:

    "Have you ever been married" turns pages in a positive manner. This is so important to the outcome of conversation! Thank you so much Elizabeth Stokoe!

    December 17, 2016
  31. irishwristwatch said:

    I don't understand the speakers hair style?

    January 13, 2017
  32. Br Cr said:

    I couldve watched 2 hrs of this….. easily

    March 30, 2017
  33. MR. PERFECT said:

    It seems like everybody that has this accent talks good๐Ÿ˜‘

    July 3, 2017
  34. The Primal Pitch said:

    Very engaging and fresh. Offers some new perspectives. Thanks. And kudos to the kind professor for showing up in comments as well.

    Now, to get in to first mover mode… Seems this talk is a bit polarizing because while the presenter is very likable and articulate, the promise of analysis is not really delivered in an expert fashion. Instead we get more of a fly-by or burlesque of analysis. Not complaining, it's still worth the ride. Elizabeth, if you're still listening, may I encourage you to find stronger and more apt terms and similes.

    For example, "first mover" seems to criticize anyone who moves a conversation toward substance and away from trivialities. Seems you're really referring to passive-aggressive behavior (the deniability you highlight indicates the "passive" part). And with "race track" I believe you've gone off course again – Too many conflicting and inconsistent associations in the notion of racing. For example, in a race we mainly ignore others and the overriding concern is to win. Surely that's not what you're suggesting conversation is about. Finally, may I suggest you create a wider context of our human imperatives, individual sensitivities and styles and cultural norms all of which would serve as a magnifying lens for your specific findings. Hope to see more video in the future. –Roy

    October 14, 2017
  35. Caira Battifora said:

    Well… this was a waste.

    October 22, 2017
  36. SirrStapz8 said:


    October 26, 2017
  37. Andre EWERT said:

    too many words..also i think that often we over-analyze everything and it can impede with true listening, engaging, connecting

    December 1, 2017
  38. Spirit Ofyore said:

    "Did you push her to the ground?"
    "She fell to the lawn."
    It was a yes or no question that should have elicited a yes or no answer- No I did not or I did not push push her to the ground. Instead the suspect tried to lessen the impact of the damage and divert attention from himself to the victim. Push became fell-ground became lawn.

    December 1, 2017
  39. Mr. Numi Who said:

    There is only one relevant question to ask, and that is "Does the person have a clue or not?" Since humanity is still universally clueless, the answer is 'no'. You can take it from there.

    December 2, 2017
  40. Niksum said:

    Hello madam
    Its a Very good video..
    May i ask you to analyse a sentence sent by my ex..
    She wrote:
    Actually….I give up a thought to b with him anymore

    Instead of:
    I have decided to not to b with him anymore
    What it means by her sentence madam..?
    Does she think tht if i will turn all thing good then she may think to come to me back..
    Kindly guide..

    December 10, 2017
  41. guloguloguy said:

    …….She's so "flat-chesTED",and repetitively boring, I couldn't follow her nagging, whiny voice, for more than a couple of minutes. = FAILED!!!

    December 16, 2017
  42. Elizabeth Stokoe: I loved your talk, learned a lot. As well, I adore your conversational approach! Methinks you should keep calm, carry on, and disregard all of the naysayers and/or nitpickers. No doubt, resistance to being unnecessarily disarmed by petty criticisms is already a significant component of your own strategic arsenal, both professional and personal. Bravo, that! I'd appreciate knowing where to learn more about your study discipline; it's absolutely fascinating, and explains much about what is being said, and conveyed in any given conversation, even when actual words are not being used or exchanged. Many thanks for your presentation, and life-affirming, down-to-earth, refreshing approach. Never mind critiquing your, "ums," or choice of footwear. You are not merely intelligent and knowledgeable, but a veritable breath of fresh air! Cheers, Q.L.

    December 26, 2017
  43. Bobby said:

    I don't really get why you get so upset by those questions just be honest lol

    January 3, 2018
  44. mtwo mthree said:

    Do you think that the dark net is not ALSO BEING USED BY GOVERNMENTS? simply to catch all who are wishing to cover up their activities?+I ACTUALLY BELEIVE THAT STEPHEN HAWKINS HAS AN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAMME IN HIS BRAIN, put there by GCHQ UK-corrupt government/lawfirm staff from UK/Malta hacked into my emails and stole 4 of my projects including ISLE OF MTV, WOMAD Annual events and the introduction of AIFMD into the malta financial authority! MAKE A MOVE ABOUT THESE SHITBAGS!

    January 7, 2018
  45. Pilgrim's Promise said:

    Interesting lecture, but her main problem is how often in her introduction she refererences "What I Actually Do". I don't care what she does, I have no interest in what she does. I want to know what she has to teach me.

    January 9, 2018
  46. Jon Davis said:

    her ground tol awn comparison went no where

    January 14, 2018
  47. peter piper said:

    She has a strong need or desire to show that she is funny.
    A lot of the time is taken up by getting the audience to laugh and she is content and relieved with that.
    This had very little to do with analyzing conversations and the examples she gave were cringe-worthy

    January 14, 2018
  48. Diane said:

    Erm – I think I'm a first mover and I had zero idea that I was doing anything wrong!
    I am diagnosed late in life with Asperger's and that apparently means having difficulty with communication.
    So I really have said to people 'so, what is it that you do at your job?'
    If that comes over as rude – it really REALLY isn't meant too. It's me just trying to understand! I'm a bit devastated to think that it's viewed as offensive. Maybe this lady or someone like her can teach Aspies (people on the autism spectrum) what not to say.

    Or if I speak on behalf of 'my people' advocate style – maybe NTs (Neurotypicals or people who do not have autism) need to learn our language and not get so uptight about it. What is inherently wrong with seeking information when you don't understand?! ๐Ÿ™

    January 18, 2018
  49. jose Hernandez said:

    reading minds this is witchcraft

    February 5, 2018
  50. Lily Kollรฉ said:

    Fascinating subject, thanks for sharing! Don't listen to the insensitive comments.

    February 7, 2018
  51. Tanya Qin said:

    Conversation analysis is useful for professional and work place discourse, but please, do not use this framework to make assumptions about people's lives, characters and problems. There can be so many reasons why this couple spoke the way it did.. This s a small stretch of interaction but now we are biased to think that the male has done something wrong and the female is upset about it. There is no context provided, but a few exchanges. Moreover, when there is a problem between people it may or may not come up explicitly in the conversation.. but a few pauses and deviations from Grice's principles answers nothing really. What if the conversation was not over the phone but was face to face? Wouldn't their faces, body postures, gesture etc speak more than their words?

    February 8, 2018
  52. Angelo Jamaica said:

    Wow with all this analysis of conversation, can you analyze what you all talk about while killing millions of your own species and yet all your analysis has accomplished nothing but then again who cares analyzing the last spoken words must be awesome. Definitely a priority in life. How is my analysis?

    February 19, 2018
  53. sandesh rayamajhi said:

    Apparently the rack is empty.

    February 26, 2018
  54. Ka Wrss said:

    It gives detail on calls and how speech works but this is baised on a very old system. Todays world is JAM packed full of stuff to distract you and foods that dull you down. SO a 2.5 second pause may just be a slow response time or thinking about it. ELiz jumps straight into '' this isnt a good sign'' I feel like shes jumping TO soon without context on some points.

    March 6, 2018
  55. Derrick Tate said:

    Great explanation to the layman, well done for your explanation, I would love to train in this field

    March 21, 2018
  56. David Katuin said:

    Probably , just saying , words that are used per definition versus words that are used per meaning. Now determine what stage this takes place.

    March 21, 2018
  57. Lori Anderson said:


    March 23, 2018
  58. pmMMA said:

    Lmao, this is literally just common sense and is a joke of a subject. For an expert at conversational analogy she holds herself extremely poorly and speaks with a lot of stalling and filler content. Also I'm dead at wanting people to take "scientific" advice from someone that can't even afford a proper transcription software.

    March 24, 2018
  59. Arty said:

    What was the one word O.o

    April 1, 2018
  60. its Mahi said:

    Ok now I see Facebook sells the call recordings to these people!! Yes you guessed it right!! Facebook regards all your calls and texts ๐Ÿ˜

    April 3, 2018
  61. Island Chick Designs & Finds said:

    On my island ๐ŸŒด

    April 9, 2018
  62. Gary Sugarman said:

    So what's the one word magic bullet?……Hello?…..Elizabeth?…….Hello?

    April 12, 2018
  63. neno peno said:

    I guess that might be a better answer to life, that anyone could understand, yeah.
    Change the way you answer phones and texts from "who is calling me" to "hello and greetings you wonderful human being, before you say anything, I Love You. =)"

    It worked for Joe Girard, he only sent postcards saying "i like you" and earned millions of $.
    Take his idea, make a better one, give it to everyone, for free.
    Rule of reciprocation says that the chances are, you'll get it back "billionfold".

    Is anyone on this planet even capable of this level of critical thinking anymore?

    June 13, 2018
  64. ์Šคํ…ŒํŒŒ๋‹ˆ Stephanie ์กฐ์…‰ said:

    Can someone please tell me the "magic bullet" word? I am dying of curiosity!!!!!

    June 25, 2018
  65. Silvio Canargiu said:

    hum…..hum….hum….i just watched the all video in order to count the number of times she said "hum"….but in the end i failed…..just like she did ๐Ÿ˜€

    June 25, 2018
  66. Cube Noob said:

    An average talk but I wasn't thrilled about the one word bullet (golden carrot) that she dangled but failed to justify why she wouldn't tell the audience. I think she should go and speak with a conversational analyst to gain some tips.

    July 9, 2018
  67. Pr B said:

    I didn't learn anything. With all due respect she was only justifying what research she has been doing but did not share the findings/interpretations/conclusions that I can use in my interactions. Perhaps some people are just not good at explaining their knowledge/expertise

    July 13, 2018
  68. Museic luvva said:

    i wish you could stand still while talking love, you really need something to stand behind or sit on as its very annoying watching you stepping around. is that your work out for the day, is that why you are wearing running shoes?

    July 14, 2018
  69. Joyful cookie S said:

    I learned nothing thanks

    July 17, 2018
  70. Robin Hart-Jones said:

    When she got into 'How a conversation is structured.' with its set pieces at the start I was hoping she would move onto what it means when people never use these set structures…like me. When I phone someone, including personal calls, I go straight into why I rang eg 'Hi. It's Rob. Do fancy coming over on Saturday?'. If someone calls me, if I know who is calling I open with 'Hi Mike. What can I help you with?' and I just get frustrated when they respond with 'Hi it's Mike. How are you?'. It can be quite comical when people just cannot get off the well worn track and when I respond to 'How are you?' with 'I'm fine.' they stumble a bit and reply 'Err. I'm OK as well thanks.' when I never enquired. It is not like Gordon trying to keep things on track on purpose it is just an inability to cope with a non-standard reply ๐Ÿ™‚ I had a colleague, a lovely person, who would ring me at 2am when the only reason had to be that there was some disaster at work but he always insisted on asking how I am and how my wife is and how my children are before he would get into why he rang ๐Ÿ™‚ It used to drive me crazy as I just wanted to fix the problem! I sometimes wonder if it means I am just a little higher up the autism scale than the average person. I cannot even force myself to go through the motions of following the script. It is not that I am rude, I am always polite but just can't get my head around meaningless smalltalk.

    July 18, 2018
  71. Allan Stokes said:

    Unfortunate that this talk was architected as a sales pitch. She had a lot more she could have explained in the time given.

    July 25, 2018
  72. vg said:

    Fuking UK accent… Hate it ๐Ÿ˜’

    August 24, 2018
  73. Ndirangu Waweru said:

    felt more like a click bait.

    August 29, 2018
  74. Andrea Lato said:

    I found this very interesting and will continue to research this topic. Thanks for sharing!

    August 29, 2018
  75. Daniel said:

    such a shame that all those very clever technical people are selling their skill and ingenuity all in order for companies to make profit. would have been wonderful of humanity could actually use its brilliance and creativity and ingenuity in order to create a better world for all of us, not just to streghthen an economic system that is screwing most of humanity and destroying the planet and neglecting our hearts.

    September 3, 2018
  76. heather haze said:

    Im very annoyed by the omission of the thing she could have told us but purposely didnt!! That threw me off and i dont get the point of it!

    September 13, 2018
  77. Meekainc said:

    LOVE this! So what was the 'one word' she was talking about – in reference to the mediator being able 'stop it in its tracks' (think that is what she said… Any ideas?

    October 2, 2018
  78. Jesus H said:

    She sounds like an unintelligent person, trying to sound intelligent. Another possibility is that she is not being true to the way she really is. Like she may be more of a frank, possibly a brash individual, but a lot more eloquent.

    October 23, 2018
  79. stephanie gagne said:

    Your speach is hard to follow, you talk too rapidly.

    December 5, 2018
  80. Kathy Bramley said:

    There's a quite political and interpersonal aspect that's been missed, though this is fascinating work – we need to have difficult conversations sometimes and people who evade clear signals that something is wrong, either out of entitlement or an excessive fear of conflict or rejection can be a real problem or quite dangerous to us in some ways, especially if so persistent they aim for nothing but smooth racetracks. I don't know if that's something that was recognised at least internally whilst giving the speech – there seemed to be a slight stumble over the words of the conclusion which to me seemed like it might have been suggestive of that.

    December 12, 2018
  81. Ramesh Kumaran said:

    Call drops

    February 12, 2019
  82. Anne Anne said:

    Well, what's all this about! 19:23 empty talk. What's the applause for?

    February 18, 2019
  83. Paul Atreides said:

    Why is everyone so upset by her presentation? It was a bit all over the place, sure, but I certainly learned about conversation structure. That's what I was here for, and that's what I got. Take note of her very first line. She's an academic, not a performer.

    February 18, 2019
  84. Adekunle Odutayo said:

    yeah…. but what is the one word magic bullet?

    February 19, 2019
  85. Dominic Lee said:

    16:06 so what is the word/magic bullet?

    February 24, 2019
  86. Space Force said:

    What is the psychology of the young man that always must greet every person with an exuberant "heeeeey whatsuuuuup" and insist on touching every individuals hand in some bastardized semblance of a half cocked limp wristed handshake half hug upon every meeting?

    February 26, 2019
  87. Chandrakant Sharda said:

    Again I am hooked on ted talk

    April 13, 2019
  88. Andreea Dobre said:

    As an autistic person who's been obsessively educating themselves on social interaction for the past 10-15 years in an effort to learn how to deal with humans (and hopefully pass as one myself), this is what I'm doing mentally most of the time. Didn't know there are careers in it.

    April 13, 2019
  89. Art Noll said:

    "…it's a one word, magic bullet, which I'm not going to tell you now, …"
    Lets rephrase the opener on this talk: What exactly is the point of this talk?

    April 28, 2019
  90. Charles Gilmore 3 said:

    Interesting. Intriguing.

    May 1, 2019
  91. Mo Mannix said:

    Not okay to withold the one word "fix". Comment below says it is "willing"….

    May 3, 2019
  92. Bupe Chikumbi said:

    I began by reading comments… Bad choice. I nearly failed to enjoy this perfectly good talk… This was interesting, awesome stuff

    May 7, 2019
  93. jaim haas said:

    I love it when she uses the term "receptacle"…how fitting.

    May 11, 2019
  94. EPC English Incorporation said:

    A spectacularity.

    May 13, 2019
  95. goldeneddie said:

    At 8:56 did she use the word 'hearably'? What kind of word is that?!

    June 17, 2019
  96. icu rmt said:

    Too many faults in the analysis.

    June 18, 2019
  97. timozis said:

    My mom is a friend of her LOL

    June 21, 2019
  98. syg B. said:

    Thats why am losing my friends after having small convo
    U just fall into the habit of analysing without confronting (bc u will sound lunatic) and eventually being too disappointed to continue the relationship

    August 17, 2019
  99. Charlie Angkor said:

    lip smacking would fit well in this video.

    September 1, 2019
  100. Charlie Angkor said:

    Once I did a conversation analysis of online dating myself. Waited what people used as opening lines (eg. hi) then used those opening lines on other people and see what would come back. (how are you) Then when other people woukd greet me hi I would reply how are you etc. etc. into deeper and deeper levels of conversation. I even wrote a program to automate this called Twibright Casanova. Sometimes I have to edit the reply, for example replace someone elses name or phone number with my own. This way I can completely eliminate myself from the process of dating and eliminate the risk that I will be rejected for who I am (how I react in conversation). The people were basically dating each other, kinda man in the middle attack. Each round of conversation they were dating someone else. They were dating the average dater on the website. It was successful. Before I could never find a romantic partner, after that I found several ones. This happens when a computer scientist is put in front of the problem of learning social skills. He will learn it excellently, but not the way you'd expect, he games the system, renders the whole problem obsolete and walks around it. You can never say my way of dating is weird because I am always replying precisely what an average dater would reply. If there are more option the program chooses randomly with probabilities according to numbers of occurences of the individual options. example responses to "hi": "hey heyโ€, "how are you? :)", "Hey.", "hey", "Good morning", "Good morning .. How r u to day ? ", "hi", "Hi", "how are you", "flywalking", "hi, how are you doing?", "hi! ๐Ÿ™‚ how are you doing?", "hey ;)", "hi <his name>", "hii.".

    September 1, 2019

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