Compliment response

How do the recipients of compliments react when they receive a compliment?

A compliment typically poses a politeness problem for the recipients. Accepting the compliment may appear to be immodest, declining the compliment, on the other hand, may appear to be an impolite disagreement with the complimenter or perhaps also insincere. It is, therefore, an interesting question to find out how people differ in the way they deal with this problem. Pomerantz (1978) is an early and classic study in this area (see Response – Field – CA). Herbert (1989) added a contrastive dimension(Response – Field – Diary), which was taken up by Chen (1993) and Schneider and Schneider (2000). Chen compared speakers of American English and speakers of Chinese. Schneider and Schneider replicated his study with data from speakers of American English, Irish English, German and Chinese (see Response – Laboratory – DCTs).

For a discussion of the suitability of different research methods for this particular set of questions see: