So, Like, Um, It Turns Out People Who Use Filler Words Are Actually More Thoughtful

So, Like, Um, It Turns Out People Who Use Filler Words Are Actually More Thoughtful
World
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

So, like, new scientific research from the Journal of Language and Social Psychology shows that people who use filler words like “um,” “like,” “you know,”  and “I mean,” um, aren’t necessarily not listening, you know?

Okay, that’s enough of that. Pop culture depicts the aforementioned dim-witted filler words as indicative of a person’s poor oratory skills, but in actuality, research has seen people in authoritative roles use these words all the time.

The words indicate to the listener that the speaker wants to either pause for a moment to recollect thoughts or prevent the listener from stealing the speaking spotlight.

According to Pacific Standard, scientists believe that implementing these words into everyday speech is part of “the processing of complex thoughts.”

For example, the significance of “like” is slightly ambiguous, but it’s suggested that it’s used when speakers don’t want to fully commit to a thought.

“You know” may signify that the speaker wants the listener to make inferences about the conversation or that the speaker wants to ensure the listener understands what is being said, and  ”I mean” may signify that the speaker wants to modify what they just said.

Now, in the latest study from the Journal, psycholinguists categorized the words into “discourse makers” (phrases like “you know,” “I mean,” and “like”) and “filled pauses” (words like “uh” and “um”). During the study, 263 conversations that had been used in previous studies were analyzed.

The transcriptions, which were “truly spontaneous conversation” from subjects between the ages of 17 to 69, were analyzed to determine if there were correlations between the amount of “discourse makers” or “filled pauses” used in speech and the gender, age and personality traits of speakers.

The study concluded that “filled pauses” occurred at similar rates across all age and gender groups, and that young college females loved “discourse makers.”

Conscientiousness was the personality trait most correlated with “discourse maker” use.  This is likely because conscientious people are more aware of themselves and their surroundings, so they have a strong desire to rephrase or share opinions to their audience, you know?

I mean, that sounds like a pretty good reason, and we should stop feeling, like, embarrassed if we use filler words. Like. You know.

H/T: PS Mag, Photo Courtesy: Fanpop

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Alexia LaFata

Alexia is a Writer for Elite Daily and one of the most inquisitive people you will ever meet. Currently a senior at Boston College, Alexia is really bad at movies (except documentaries because she obsessively watches those), controlling her portion sizes, being appropriately affectionate towards animals, tweeting, and hiding her feelings. She's a classic ENFJ who was once described as "painfully enthusiastic" -- and is still mulling over it. You can e-mail her at alafata@elitedaily.com or check out more of her writing at http://alexialafata.com. Or do both.

More In World

World Sean Levinson

The Average Penis Sizes By Country May Or May Not Shock You (Photo)

This chart created by humor website 9gag is based on the average penis sizes around the world, and everyone’s probably pretty jealous of Congo right now. The original page doesn’t say where the statistics come from, but they definitely support some socially-perpetuated stereotypes. The US is below the global average and if it’s assumed the […]

World Sean Levinson

Chechen Leader Detains 1,000 Wedding Guests All Night Over Missing Phone

The head of Chechnya has a widely publicized addiction to Instagram, often posting photos several times a day featuring everything from food to exotic animals to religious rhetoric. Ramzan Kadyrov has also repeatedly been accused of abusing his power, and the two habits crossed paths on Saturday when the 37-year-old attended a lavish wedding with […]

Also On Elite

Politics

10 Countries That Are More Progressive With LGBTQ Rights Than The United States

US citizens pride themselves on being part of a progressive democracy, an alleged model for the entire globe. But oftentimes, when it comes to LGBTQ rights, we could learn a thing or two from other countries around the world. Although we’ve made some great strides in gay rights throughout the past decade, — from overturning […]

Music

Kanye West Fired His DJ Because He Was Legitimately Terrible And Here’s Proof

Kanye West recently fired his DJ, Million Dollar Mano. It turns out Mano wasn’t performing anywhere near the level clearly expected of him. I imagine Kanye has pretty high standards in general, but, amazingly, this isn’t a case of Kanye running wild with hubris. In this situation, West was totally in the right. If you […]

World

The US Military Actually Had A Moon-Based Surveillance System Planned In The 1950s

The peak of Cold War-era paranoia has been revealed in the form of a declassified document revealing plans to build a surveillance and defense system on the moon. The 100-page document code named “Project Horizon” was released on the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic walk on the moon. According to ABC News, the detailed […]

Politics

Why We’ve Come To Accept Subtle Forms Of Racism In Pop Culture

Ever been to an EDM festival? While many of the clothing choices (So much neon! So few sleeves!) might be questionable, there’s one recent sartorial trend that’s downright offensive: the wearing of imitation-style Native American headdresses. When did it become a sign of coolness to mimic another culture? When another society’s customs become characterized costumes, […]

Technology

The Future Of Our Country: Georgia Teens Develop App To Challenge Police Abuse

The recent events in Ferguson, MO, have sparked a national discussion about the fragile dynamic between police departments and the communities that officers patrol. From the shooting that led to the initial protests in Ferguson to the way officials have responded, people around the nation are growing concerned about the amount of accountability placed on police […]

Humor

18 Times George H.W. Bush Wore Cooler Socks Than You Ever Have (Photos)

The original President Bush didn’t have much time to make a lasting impact on our country, and for the most part, its been H.W.’s offspring, baby Bush, who has dominated the spotlight since he left office in 1993. While his political legacy might not be as impressive as other Commanders-in-Chief, Bush Senior has his eyes […]