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: Personality and place: New insights on person-environment links

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Finding psychological insights through social media

12 hours ago

Social media has opened up a new digital world for psychology research. Four researchers will be discussing new methods of language analysis, and how social media can be leveraged to study personality, mental and physical ...

Aggressive boys tend to develop into physically stronger teens

Feb 27, 2015

Boys who show aggressive tendencies develop greater physical strength as teenagers than boys who are not aggressive, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Scienc ...

New app helps monitor depression

Feb 27, 2015

Scientists from the University of Birmingham have developed an app that can measure the activity patterns of patients with depression and provide the necessary support.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.