Applause and Other Audience Reactions

  • Daniel C. O’Connell
  • Sabine Kowal
Part of the Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics book series (CALS)

Chapter Prospectus

Chapter 18, Applause and Other Audience Reactions, is concerned with the reactions of groups of listeners or audiences. In this context, applause is considered to be a nonverbal response to spoken discourse that is typical of larger and more public groupings. Depending upon cultural and situational differences, it may occur sporadically throughout a spoken presentation, only at designated times (e.g., at the end of an act), or only terminally, at the end of a presentation. It can be used positively as well as sarcastically or inappropriately. Other audience reactions may be verbal or nonverbal, approving (e.g., bravo or encore) or nonapproving (e.g., boo). Research on audience reactions has not been extensive and for the most part has only engaged political oratory. In this setting, the limitations of spontaneity and genuine interactivity between speaker and audience make political oratory a special case of turn-taking or dialogical group activity. Virtually all the...


Audience Response Audience Member Rhetorical Device Audience Reaction Audience Interaction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel C. O’Connell
    • 1
  • Sabine Kowal
    • 2
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Technische Universität Institut für Sprache und KommunikationGermany

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