Self-repair in dialogue with patients with schizophrenia

  • Howes, Christine
  • Lavelle, Mary
  • Healey, Patrick G. T.
  • Hough, Julian
  • McCabe, Rose
It is well-known that patients with schizophrenia have problems with language and social cognitive skills, which has implications for patients' experience of social exclusion, yet little research has investigated how these problems impact interaction. In dialogue -- the key form of everyday interaction -- it is well known that disfluencies such as self-repairs, filled pauses such as 'um' and silent pauses are pervasive and can have measurable effects on the dialogue. Despite this, there is no consensus as to whether such disfluencies reflect internal production pressures, or interactive issues -- or how their effects are manifest in dialogue. We report a study on the disfluency behaviours of patients with schizophrenia and their interlocutors who were unaware of the patient's diagnosis, compared to healthy control groups. Results show that patients use fewer self-repairs than either their partners or controls and fewer filled pauses ('er', 'um') than controls. Furthermore, the presence of the patient also affects patients' partners, who use fewer filled pauses than controls and more unfilled pauses than both patients and controls. This suggests that smooth coordination of turns is problematic in dialogues with patients.
Research areas:
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Book title:
Communication and Cognition - Miscommunication: Getting lost in language(s)
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