On the Preference for Agreement and Contiguity in Sequences in Conversation

When it comes to conversations, humans have a preference for agreement and contiguity in sequences. This means that people tend to respond to statements with similar or related ideas and try to keep their replies connected to the previous speaker`s message. This behavior can have a significant impact on the flow and dynamics of a conversation.

Agreement in Sequences

Agreement in sequences refers to the tendency of humans to agree with the previous speaker`s statement when responding. This can be seen in many conversations where the second person will echo the first speaker`s message, either by repeating the same words or by using synonyms and related phrases.

This behavior is not just a social norm or a sign of politeness. Research has shown that agreement in sequences has a cognitive function, as it allows people to process information more efficiently. When a person agrees with another`s statement, they are more likely to retain the information that was conveyed, as it reinforces the message.

Contiguity in Sequences

Contiguity in sequences refers to the tendency to keep replies connected to the previous speaker`s message. This means that people try to avoid changing the topic suddenly or jumping to unrelated subjects. Instead, they tend to build on the previous speaker`s message, adding their own thoughts and ideas.

This behavior is also beneficial for the participants of the conversation, as it helps maintain coherence and clarity. When the speakers stay on topic, it is easier for them to understand each other and avoid misunderstandings. Contiguity in sequences also facilitates the flow of conversation as it allows people to continue the dialogue without disruption.

The Importance of Agreement and Contiguity in Sequences

Agreement and contiguity in sequences are essential components of effective communication. Whether it is a casual conversation or a formal meeting, these behaviors help participants understand each other, remember what was said, and keep the conversation focused and engaging.

In addition, agreement and contiguity in sequences have also been shown to have a positive impact on social relationships. People who agree with each other and stay on topic are more likely to feel connected and establish rapport. This behavior also helps build trust and respect between the participants.


Agreement and contiguity in sequences are natural tendencies in human communication. They help people process information efficiently, maintain coherence and clarity, and establish positive social relationships. Whether you are having a conversation with a friend, a coworker, or a stranger, keeping these principles in mind can make your interactions more successful and rewarding.

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