(Psy Blog) Are Fast Talkers More Persuasive?
Psychological research tries to solve the riddle of the fast talker.
Beware the fast-talker, the person with the gift of the gab—the friendly salesman, the oily politician—running through the ‘facts’ faster than you can keep up. Rat-a-tat-tat.
What does all that fast talking do to us? Are we more persuaded by their apparent confidence and grasp of the subject? Or are we less persuaded because all the information comes at us too fast to be processed.
When psychologists first began examining the effect of speech rate on persuasion, they thought the answer was cut-and-dried. In 1976 Norman Miller and colleagues tried to convince participants that caffeine was bad for them (Miller et al., 1976). The results suggested people were most persuaded when the message was delivered at a fully-caffeinated 195 words per minute rather than at a decaffeinated 102 words per minute.