The Human Communication Laboratory (Comm.Lab) at Columbia University studies communicative behavior from a social psychological perspective.

For humans, communication is a complicated process involving a number of systems that work in concert. Although people typically communicate with relative ease, it's not entirel clear how they do it. "How it works" is the question our research addresses. Our focus is the mechanisms that make communication possible, rather than the copntent or consequences of communication.

For example, here are some examples of questions that are of greater or lesser interest to us:

Questions that we ask and try to answer:

Questions that are less interesting to us:

H ow are gesturing and speaking related? Do people gesture priarily to convey information to their listeners?

What is the origin of the A-OK gesture? Does it mean the same thing in all cultures?

What is the function of such back-channel responses as nodding, smiling or saying "uh-huh" in communication?

Do shrinks say "uh-huh" more than others? Is that what it takes to be a good therapist?

Does articulating our mental representations (i.e., saying what is on our minds) change those mental representations?

Do people who speak different languages experience the world differently?

What can we tell about another from tha sound of his or her voice?

Do people unconsciously reveal what they're really thinking by the things they do when they talk?

Click here to see Comm.Lab in the news.

To find out more about our lab, or to obtain information about the Psychology Department at Columbia University, click on one of these icons.

<- This is a picture of a typical lab member. To find out what made him/her the way he/she is, click on the picture.

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