Friday, March 13, 1998 at 01:21:37

i noticed will sitting in court for a couple of days that when ever a lawyer is macking something up(they don't like to call it lying), they tend to use a filled pause to have more time to make things up.

- MG

There is little doubt that the excessive use of hesitation in speech may be taken as a clue that someone is not being sincere.  However, I've found some interesting exceptions to this.  One visitor to my site said that he found the overly-polished speech of a politician to lack sincerity. Alternately, I read about a linguistic study where subjects recorded responses to various informational questions (e.g., "When did the U.S. enter WWI?").  Recordings with "uh...well, um...I don't know" were regarded more favorably by the subjects than recordings with a simple, "I don't know."  That is, the subjects thought that the former people knew the correct answer but could not recall it at present while the latter people never knew the answer.   When I read that study it reminded me of times when I have tried to 'feign' a greater depth of knowledge than I really had at present by using FPs to appear to be searching my memory. Does this sound at all familiar to you?

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Last Revised: 99/08/26

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