If speech is silver, silence is gold. Having commonalities with a new person you meet is something essential, but it is just as important to know how to decode what he does not necessarily say.
And when physical attraction is there and easy discussion, it is quick to be troubled by this person. But, not always easy to know if the attraction is mutual. So researchers at the University of Dartmouth (United States) thought about how to decipher non-verbal language. Their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (source 1).
“We’ve all had the experience of having chemistry with some people but not with others. We wanted to see if there is anything in people’s conversations that reveals when they’re feeling attraction,” the co-author said. study, Emma Templeton, a graduate student in psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth. Before giving an answer: “Our results show that the faster people respond to each other during a conversation, the more they feel connected”.
A fluent conversation
To reach this conclusion, the researchers carried out different experiments. In particular, they analyzed the response time established between 66 strangers. Different discussions were recorded on video so that participants could view the exchanges and assess how connected they felt with their interlocutor at all times. Thanks to this, the researchers established that the faster the response time and the higher the sense of social connection. They then tried to determine if these results applied to close friends. The answer is yes: the more fluid the conversation, the more the participants feel connected to their interlocutor. Last study, the researchers were interested in outside observers of a discussion. They, too, use response times to determine if two people have an affinity.
“It is well established that on average there are approximately a quarter of a second difference between speaking turns during a conversation. Our study is the first to examine how significant this gap is, in terms of connection,” says lead author Thalia Wheatley, Lincoln Filene Professor of Human Relations at Dartmouth. She adds, “When people feel that they can almost finish each other’s sentences, they bridge that 250 millisecond gap, and that’s when two people feel connected.”