May 20, 2015
As social creatures, we tend to mimic each others posture, laughter, and other behaviors, including how we speak. Now a new study shows that people with similar views tend to more closely mirror, or align, each others speech patterns. In addition, people who are better at compromising align more closely.
Few people are aware that they alter their word pronunciation, speech rate, and even the structure of their sentences during conversation, explained Florian Jaeger, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester and coauthor of the study recently published in Language Variation and Change. What we have found is that the degree to which speakers align is socially mediated.