HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.


In a recent article published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP; Huang, Yeomans, Brooks, Minson, & Gino, 2017), we reported the results of 2 experiments involving “getting acquainted” conversations among strangers and an observational field study of heterosexual speed daters. In all 3 studies, we found that asking more questions in conversation, especially follow-up questions (that indicate responsiveness to a partner), increases interpersonal liking of the question asker. Kluger and Malloy (2019) offer a critique of the analyses in Study 3 of our article. Though their response is a positive signal of engaged interest in our research, they made 3 core mistakes in their analyses that render their critique invalid. First, they tested the wrong variables, leading to conclusions that were erroneous. Second, even if they had analyzed the correct variables, some of their analytical choices were not valid for our speed-dating dataset, casting doubt on their conclusions. Third, they misrepresented our original findings, ignoring results in all 3 of our studies that disprove some of their central criticisms. In summary, the conclusions that Kluger and Malloy (2019) drew about Huang et al. (2017)’s findings are incorrect. The original results are reliable and robust: Asking more questions, especially follow-up questions, increases interpersonal liking.


Yeomans, Michael, Alison Wood Brooks, Karen Huang, Julia Minson, and Francesca Gino. "It helps to ask: The cumulative benefits of asking follow-up questions." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 117.6 (December 2019): 1139-1144.