The purpose of this study was to investigate a listener's role in a speaker's later recollection and impression of the story through a story-retelling method. Two experiments were conducted, and listener responses were manipulated in each experiment in different ways. Experiment 1 examined the effect of a listener's attitude toward story retelling, and Experiment 2 studied the effect of a listener's subtle nonverbal reaction to a specific part of the story's retelling on a speaker's later recollection and impression of that story. Results showed that the listener's verbal empathetic attitude encouraged more word utterances from the speaker, changed the narrative content more positively, and reinforced the speaker's recollection, especially with positive ideas. It also amplified the speaker's emotions more than the non-empathetic attitude (Experiment 1). However, the listener's nonverbal reaction to the specific part of the speaker's story did not appear to have a direct effect upon later recollection nor on the impression of the story (Experiment 2).
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