What "um" and "uh" signal in conversation.

Pause fillers like “um” and “uh” can be used to maintain control of a conversation. An article in the Economist highlighted several examples where this language is used as a signal to the other parties involved in a conversation. The article also claimed that men are more likely to use these indicators with the suggestion that it is done to maintain control of the conversation. What is surprising is how quickly humans respond in dialogue, per the article:

“Humans mostly follow a rule called ‘no gap, no overlap’, reacting to the end of a conversational turn by beginning their own in about 200 milliseconds—about the time it takes a sprinter to respond to the starting gun. This is all the more remarkable given that it takes about 600 milliseconds for someone to work out what they are going to say by mentally retrieving the words and organising how they are to be expressed.”

negotiation psychology
Source: "The importance of pauses in conversation" | The Economist | 12/14/2017 | Visit