How Do Friends and Strangers Play the Game Taboo? A Study of Accuracy, Efficiency, Motivation, and the Use of Shared Knowledge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

According to common belief, friends communicate more accurately and efficiently than strangers, because they can use uniquely shared knowledge and common knowledge to explain things to each other, while strangers are restricted to common knowledge. To test this belief, we asked friends and strangers to play, via e-mail and face-to-face, the word-description game Taboo, in which objects need to be described without using certain “taboo” words. When descriptions were sent via e-mail, there was no difference in accuracy (number of correct answers) nor in efficiency (number of words per correct answer) between friends and strangers. When descriptions were given face-to-face, friends were more accurate than strangers, but not more efficient (number of seconds and words per correct answer). Shared knowledge did not predict accuracy or efficiency. Hence, our findings do not support the idea that friends only need a few words to understand each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-517
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Volume37
Issue number4
Early online dateOct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint

common knowledge
e-mail
efficiency
Taboo
Stranger

Cite this

@article{0bc9366e11e144839ee9bd3b9f8af4f3,
title = "How Do Friends and Strangers Play the Game Taboo? A Study of Accuracy, Efficiency, Motivation, and the Use of Shared Knowledge",
abstract = "According to common belief, friends communicate more accurately and efficiently than strangers, because they can use uniquely shared knowledge and common knowledge to explain things to each other, while strangers are restricted to common knowledge. To test this belief, we asked friends and strangers to play, via e-mail and face-to-face, the word-description game Taboo, in which objects need to be described without using certain “taboo” words. When descriptions were sent via e-mail, there was no difference in accuracy (number of correct answers) nor in efficiency (number of words per correct answer) between friends and strangers. When descriptions were given face-to-face, friends were more accurate than strangers, but not more efficient (number of seconds and words per correct answer). Shared knowledge did not predict accuracy or efficiency. Hence, our findings do not support the idea that friends only need a few words to understand each other.",
author = "Pollmann, {Monique M. H.} and Krahmer, {Emiel J.}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1177/0261927X17736084",
language = "English",
volume = "37",
pages = "497--517",
journal = "Journal of Language and Social Psychology",
issn = "0261-927X",
publisher = "Sage Publications, Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - How Do Friends and Strangers Play the Game Taboo? A Study of Accuracy, Efficiency, Motivation, and the Use of Shared Knowledge

AU - Pollmann, Monique M. H.

AU - Krahmer, Emiel J.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - According to common belief, friends communicate more accurately and efficiently than strangers, because they can use uniquely shared knowledge and common knowledge to explain things to each other, while strangers are restricted to common knowledge. To test this belief, we asked friends and strangers to play, via e-mail and face-to-face, the word-description game Taboo, in which objects need to be described without using certain “taboo” words. When descriptions were sent via e-mail, there was no difference in accuracy (number of correct answers) nor in efficiency (number of words per correct answer) between friends and strangers. When descriptions were given face-to-face, friends were more accurate than strangers, but not more efficient (number of seconds and words per correct answer). Shared knowledge did not predict accuracy or efficiency. Hence, our findings do not support the idea that friends only need a few words to understand each other.

AB - According to common belief, friends communicate more accurately and efficiently than strangers, because they can use uniquely shared knowledge and common knowledge to explain things to each other, while strangers are restricted to common knowledge. To test this belief, we asked friends and strangers to play, via e-mail and face-to-face, the word-description game Taboo, in which objects need to be described without using certain “taboo” words. When descriptions were sent via e-mail, there was no difference in accuracy (number of correct answers) nor in efficiency (number of words per correct answer) between friends and strangers. When descriptions were given face-to-face, friends were more accurate than strangers, but not more efficient (number of seconds and words per correct answer). Shared knowledge did not predict accuracy or efficiency. Hence, our findings do not support the idea that friends only need a few words to understand each other.

U2 - 10.1177/0261927X17736084

DO - 10.1177/0261927X17736084

M3 - Article

VL - 37

SP - 497

EP - 517

JO - Journal of Language and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Language and Social Psychology

SN - 0261-927X

IS - 4

ER -