Assumptions lead to miscommunication

Feb 23, 2007

Some of people's biggest problems with communication come in sharing new information with people they know well, U.S. researchers said.

People often use short, ambiguous messages when talking to colleagues or spouses, unintentionally creating misunderstandings, said University of Chicago Psychology Professor Boaz Keysar.

"People are so used to talking with those with whom they already share a great deal of information, that when they have something really new to share, they often present it in away that assumes the person already knows it," Keysar said.

Making assumptions about what another person knows can have many consequences, Keysar said.

Doctors, for example, often communicate quickly and may not realize the physicians they're speaking to are getting new information, he said.

Brief e-mails between co-workers can also cause confusion, something Keysar said he learned first-hand.

"I once was scheduled to speak and had gotten the day of my talk mixed up. I received an e-mail from the host asking me if I was OK. I wrote back and said I was and didn't find out until later that what he really wanted to know was where I was, as they were waiting for me to talk," Keysar said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

Apr 18, 2014

A new article published online in The Gerontologist reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-e ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.