Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

December 1980


Reprinted from Human Communication Research, Volume 6, Issue 2, Winter, 1980, pages 130-145.

NOTE: At the time of publication, author Joseph Cappella was affiliated with the University of Wisconsin. Currently (April 2008), he is a faculty member of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.


Three models describing the structure of talk and silence sequences within and across conversations presented in a previous report (Cappella, 1979) are tested. The Markov model, describing talk and silence sequences within a conversation, is found to be a valid representation on a dyad-by-dyad basis. The Independent Decision (ID) model shows some predictive validity between conversations, although its "fit" within the conversation is less than the Markov model. The Incremental model in relaxing the consistency-across-conversation assumption of the ID model finds differences due to switching of partners in the probability of breaking or continuing mutual silences and in the probability of continuing to hold the floor. The implication for deriving dyadic interaction patterns from individual interaction styles are explored.



Date Posted: 02 April 2008