Greenspoon Effect




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Greenspoon effect n.
Modification of the content of conversational speech, without the speaker's awareness, through reinforcement given by the listener in the form of nods, smiles, or expressions of approval such as "mmm-hmm". Such reinforcers have been used to increase the speaker's use of a certain word, or a category of words such as plural nouns, or the frequency with which the speaker expresses personal opinions, and so on.

[Named after the US psychologist Joel Greenspoon (born 1921) who reported the effect in articles in the American Psychologist in 1954 and the American Journal of Psychology in 1955, although previous studies had already demonstrated the effect]

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