Abstract

In her influential paper on stance, alignment, and affiliation in conversational storytelling, Tanya Stivers argued that two basic conversational means of receiving a story, nods and vocal continuers, differ in their function: whereas vocal continuers display alignment with the telling activity, nods, during the mid-telling, convey affiliation with the storytellers’ affective stance. In this paper, we elaborate these insights on the basis of a quantitative study informed by conversation analysis. Using a database of 317 stories told in Finnish, we analyzed how story recipients’ nods and continuers in different phases of storytelling (before and after the story climax) predict naïve raters’ judgments of the story recipients’ empathy toward the storyteller. We found that vocal continuers accounted for the perception of empathy during mid- telling, whereas the effect of nods remained weak. The study offers further support to the notion of structural organization of storytelling, and suggests that the significance of vocal continuers as a vehicle of empathy may be greater than has been generally thought of.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiscourse Processes
Volume56
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)310-330
Number of pages21
ISSN0163-853X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • affiliation
  • AGREEMENT
  • DISPLAYS
  • KAPPA
  • 515 Psychology

Cite this

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title = "Nods, vocal continuers, and the perception of empathy in storytelling",
abstract = "In her influential paper on stance, alignment, and affiliation in conversational storytelling, Tanya Stivers argued that two basic conversational means of receiving a story, nods and vocal continuers, differ in their function: whereas vocal continuers display alignment with the telling activity, nods, during the mid-telling, convey affiliation with the storytellers’ affective stance. In this paper, we elaborate these insights on the basis of a quantitative study informed by conversation analysis. Using a database of 317 stories told in Finnish, we analyzed how story recipients’ nods and continuers in different phases of storytelling (before and after the story climax) predict na{\"i}ve raters’ judgments of the story recipients’ empathy toward the storyteller. We found that vocal continuers accounted for the perception of empathy during mid- telling, whereas the effect of nods remained weak. The study offers further support to the notion of structural organization of storytelling, and suggests that the significance of vocal continuers as a vehicle of empathy may be greater than has been generally thought of.",
keywords = "5141 Sociology, affiliation, AGREEMENT, DISPLAYS, KAPPA, 515 Psychology",
author = "Liisa Voutilainen and Pentti Henttonen and Melisa Stevanovic and Mikko Kahri and Anssi Per{\"a}kyl{\"a}",
year = "2019",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1080/0163853X.2018.1498670",
language = "English",
volume = "56",
pages = "310--330",
journal = "Discourse Processes",
issn = "0163-853X",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "4",

}

Nods, vocal continuers, and the perception of empathy in storytelling. / Voutilainen, Liisa; Henttonen, Pentti; Stevanovic, Melisa; Kahri, Mikko; Peräkylä, Anssi.

In: Discourse Processes, Vol. 56, No. 4, 05.2019, p. 310-330.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nods, vocal continuers, and the perception of empathy in storytelling

AU - Voutilainen, Liisa

AU - Henttonen, Pentti

AU - Stevanovic, Melisa

AU - Kahri, Mikko

AU - Peräkylä, Anssi

PY - 2019/5

Y1 - 2019/5

N2 - In her influential paper on stance, alignment, and affiliation in conversational storytelling, Tanya Stivers argued that two basic conversational means of receiving a story, nods and vocal continuers, differ in their function: whereas vocal continuers display alignment with the telling activity, nods, during the mid-telling, convey affiliation with the storytellers’ affective stance. In this paper, we elaborate these insights on the basis of a quantitative study informed by conversation analysis. Using a database of 317 stories told in Finnish, we analyzed how story recipients’ nods and continuers in different phases of storytelling (before and after the story climax) predict naïve raters’ judgments of the story recipients’ empathy toward the storyteller. We found that vocal continuers accounted for the perception of empathy during mid- telling, whereas the effect of nods remained weak. The study offers further support to the notion of structural organization of storytelling, and suggests that the significance of vocal continuers as a vehicle of empathy may be greater than has been generally thought of.

AB - In her influential paper on stance, alignment, and affiliation in conversational storytelling, Tanya Stivers argued that two basic conversational means of receiving a story, nods and vocal continuers, differ in their function: whereas vocal continuers display alignment with the telling activity, nods, during the mid-telling, convey affiliation with the storytellers’ affective stance. In this paper, we elaborate these insights on the basis of a quantitative study informed by conversation analysis. Using a database of 317 stories told in Finnish, we analyzed how story recipients’ nods and continuers in different phases of storytelling (before and after the story climax) predict naïve raters’ judgments of the story recipients’ empathy toward the storyteller. We found that vocal continuers accounted for the perception of empathy during mid- telling, whereas the effect of nods remained weak. The study offers further support to the notion of structural organization of storytelling, and suggests that the significance of vocal continuers as a vehicle of empathy may be greater than has been generally thought of.

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KW - affiliation

KW - AGREEMENT

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DO - 10.1080/0163853X.2018.1498670

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JF - Discourse Processes

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