Back in the 1950’s, I worked on a study of sociability(1)

(1) Others who worked on the project were David Riesman, and, for the first year, Nelson N. Foote; Robert J. Potter; and Albert Axelrod, Ariadne Plumis Beck, Kenneth D. Feigenbaum, Joanne Holden, John Hotchkiss, Lucille Kohlberg, Philip Kotler, and Lucinda Sangree. The study was funded by Research Grant M-891 from the National Institute of Mental Health, Public Health Service.

defined simply as the interaction that occurs between people when they are being sociable. A major part of this study was the examination of conversation at parties.

Although some of the tangential reports of the study have been published, there has been no published report of the central findings. There are a number of reasons for this. Partly it was the delay in completing the report of the study. Partly it was because the study was both quantitative and qualitative, and did not seem to fit anywhere on the scene of current research.

I have recently re-read the reports of this study, and found it still relevant and interesting. I have decided to offer here a short account of what we did, and, as I see it now, of the view of sociability that emerged from this research.

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