Those who speak faster, tend to get to the point in fewer amount of words and convey relatively the same amount of information compared to those who speak slower but use more words, according to a new study.
Although the study does not proactively discuss the relevance of on-point and brief speeches, the findings seem to help in how we deliver information through speeches and even in writing.
This study focuses on the concept of the channel of information. Uriel Cohen Priva, author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences at Brown University says, “It seems the constraints on how much information per second we should transmit are fairly strict, or stricter than we thought they were,”
Priva adds that those who speaks quickly uses simpler choice of words and simpler structural syntax. In information theory, when we use rarer word choices, we are complicating the "lexicon information" and when we use complicated sentence syntax, like passive voice, we are widening the "structural information."
In this case, it is working against what the author discovered that we tend to converse efficiently in a narrow channel of information.
The researcher analyzed conversation data: 2,400 annotated telephone conversations and 40 lengthy interviews from 398 people.
The surprising result showed that men conveyed more information than women at the same speech rate, only because women tend to add more to their speeches just to ensure that their listeners understand them better.
“We need to consider a model in which fast speakers consistently choose different types of words or have a preference for different types of words or structures,” Priva said.
The study is published in Cognition.
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