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Length of Applause Not Tied To Quality of Presentation 138

sciencehabit writes "The next time you hear extended applause for a performance you didn't think was that great, don't feel like a snob. A new study reveals that audience response has more to do with the people in the seats than those up on stage. Applause, it turns out, is a bit like peer pressure. In a study of college students, individuals were more likely to start clapping if a larger percentage of the audience had already started. If 50% of the audience was clapping, for example, individuals were 10 times more likely to start clapping than if 5% of the audience was clapping. People stop clapping for the same reason. Even more surprising, the applause for a bad presentation could be just as long as applause for a good one. Random interactions in the audience can result in very different lengths of applause regardless of the quality of the talk."
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Length of Applause Not Tied To Quality of Presentation

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  • by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @05:56AM (#44058675) Journal

    It only makes a sound if it is in a forest with no one around

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 20, 2013 @05:59AM (#44058683)

    I clap my hands really fast and strong when i want to fart aswell

  • by slart42 ( 694765 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @06:46AM (#44058861)

    Similar experience from my teens:

    In my school the principal had all 1500 students gathered in the gym to give some sort of boring speech. In between the students would clap, which I found stupid, because I thought he was talking bullshit. So me and two friends decided to make fun of it, and started clapping in odd places. To our surprise it caught on really well, and quickly everyone joined in - probably some because they got the prank, and others out of reflex. In any case, the situation quickly became hilarious with everyone in the audience clapping as soon as the principal would open his mouth to speak - at some point he started screaming "Stop clapping" - which was of course replied to with a big applause.

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