Floor apportionment and gaze in conversational dyads

  • Beattie G
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This study sought to determine whether gaze performs a floor‐apportionment function in conversation by analysing the relationship between the presence or absence of gaze at the ends of speaker turns and the duration of the succeeding switching pauses. The presence of gaze did not lead to a significant increase in the incidence of short switching pauses (≤0.5 sec), moreover significantly more immediate speaker‐switches were found when gaze did not occur. There were also significantly more immediate and short latency responses to questions terminating without gaze than with gaze. Questions terminating with gaze were judged to be more difficult than questions without gaze. No evidence for a floor‐apportionment function of gaze was obtained.




Beattie, G. W. (1978). Floor apportionment and gaze in conversational dyads. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 17(1), 7–15. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8260.1978.tb00889.x

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