Boaz Keysar

Boaz Keysar
University of Chicago | UC · Department of Psychology

About

26
Publications
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4,134
Citations

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Sociolinguistic research shows that listeners' expectations of speakers influence their interpretation of the speech, yet this is often ignored in cognitive models of language comprehension. Here, we focus on the case of interactions between native and non-native speakers. Previous literature shows that listeners process the language of non-native...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals from East Asian (Chinese) backgrounds have been shown to exhibit greater sensitivity to a speaker's perspective than Western (U.S.) participants when resolving referentially ambiguous expressions. We show that this cultural difference does not reflect better integration of social information during language processing, but rather is the...
Article
Although it is known that words acquire their meanings partly from the contexts in which they are used, we proposed that the way in which words are processed can also influence their representation. We further propose that individual differences in the way that words are processed can consequently lead to individual differences in the way that they...
Article
The language of non-native speakers is less reliable than the language of native speakers in conveying the speaker's intentions. We propose that listeners expect such reduced reliability, and that this leads them to adjust the manner in which they process and represent non-native language by representing non-native language in less detail. Experime...
Article
People commonly believe that they communicate better with close friends than with strangers. We propose, however, that closeness can lead people to overestimate how well they communicate, a phenomenon we term the closeness-communication bias. In one experiment, participants who followed direction of a friend were more likely to make egocentric erro...
Article
Non-native speech is harder to understand than native speech. We demonstrate that this “processing difficulty” causes non-native speakers to sound less credible. People judged trivia statements such as “Ants don't sleep” as less true when spoken by a non-native than a native speaker. When people were made aware of the source of their difficulty the...
Article
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People commonly interpret others’ behavior in terms of the actors’ underlying beliefs, knowledge, or other mental states, thereby using their “theory of mind.” Two experiments suggest that using one’s theory of mind is a relatively effortful process. In both experiments, people reflexively used their own knowledge and beliefs to follow a speaker’s...
Article
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Theories from the psychology of communication may be applicable in understanding why hand-off communication is inherently problematic. The purpose of this study was to assess whether postcall pediatric interns can correctly estimate the patient care information and rationale received by on-call interns during hand-off communication. Pediatric inter...
Article
Language use can be viewed as a form of joint activity that requires the coordination of meaning between individuals. Because the linguistic signal is notoriously ambiguous, interlocutors need to draw upon additional sources of information to resolve ambiguity and achieve shared understanding. One way individuals can achieve coordination is by usin...
Article
Unlike economic exchange, social exchange has no well-defined "value." It is based on the norm of reciprocity, in which giving and taking are to be repaid in equivalent measure. Although giving and taking are colloquially assumed to be equivalent actions, we demonstrate that they produce different patterns of reciprocity. In five experiments utiliz...
Article
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Understanding others' behavior often involves attributing mental states to them by using one's "theory of mind." We argue that using theory of mind to recognize differences between one's own perspective and another's perspective is a deliberate process of inference that may be influenced by incidental mood. Because sadness is associated with more s...
Article
Full-text available
People consider the mental states of other people to understand their actions. We evaluated whether such perspective taking is culture dependent. People in collectivistic cultures (e.g., China) are said to have interdependent selves, whereas people in individualistic cultures (e.g., the United States) are said to have independent selves. To evaluat...
Article
Full-text available
Repeated reference creates strong expectations in addressees that a speaker will continue to use the same expression for the same object. The authors investigate the root reason for these expectations by comparing a cooperativeness-based account (Grice, 1975) with a simpler consistency-based account. In two eye-tracking experiments, the authors inv...
Article
It makes sense that the more information people share, the better they communicate. To evaluate the effect of knowledge overlap on the effectiveness of communication, participants played a communication game where the "director" identified objects to the "addressee". Pairs either shared information about most objects' names (high overlap), or about...
Chapter
Language use requires coordination to be successful, because language can be ambiguous. Thus, speakers and listeners will often have to adapt their behavior to their interlocutor to avoid misunderstanding. This chapter discusses audience design hypothesis, or the design hypothesis for short. This hypothesis assumes that speakers and listeners achie...
Article
Children generally behave more egocentrically than adults when assessing another's perspective. We argue that this difference does not, however, indicate that adults process information less egocentrically than children, but rather that adults are better able to subsequently correct an initial egocentric interpretation. An experiment tracking parti...
Article
Full-text available
The authors propose that people adopt others' perspectives by serially adjusting from their own. As predicted, estimates of others' perceptions were consistent with one's own but differed in a manner consistent with serial adjustment (Study 1). Participants were slower to indicate that another's perception would be different from--rather than simil...
Article
Pickering & Garrod (P&G) claim that the automatic mechanisms that underlie language processing in dialogue are absent in monologue. We disagree with this claim, and argue that dialogue simply provides a different context in which the same basic processes operate.
Article
By 6 years, children have a sophisticated adult-like theory of mind that enables them not only to understand the actions of social agents in terms of underlying mental states, but also to distinguish between their own mental states and those of others. Despite this, we argue that even adults do not reliably use this sophisticated ability for the ve...
Article
this article. We also thank Susan Brennan and two anonymous reviewers for criticism and suggestions
Article
Successful communication depends in part on an ability to anticipate miscommunication. We investigated speakers' ability to gauge their addressees' understanding. Participants in our experiments were asked to say ambiguous sentences while attempting to convey a specific intention to their addressee. When they estimated the addressee's understanding...
Article
Past research has shown that when speakers refer to the same referent multiple times, they tend to standardize their descriptions by establishing linguistic precedents. In three experiments, we show that listeners reduce uncertainty in comprehension by taking advantage of these precedents. We tracked listeners' eye movements in a referential commun...
Article
Proposes that speakers, addressees, and overhearers reduce the uncertainty of linguistic utterances by using an anchoring and adjustment heuristic. This chapter reviews evidence that language users tend to anchor on their own perspective and attempt to adjust to the perspective of others. These adjustments are typically insufficient, and can occasi...

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