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> this is important because in a conversation, each member must project and rationalise each other communicator's response to a message

Do they, though? Maybe I participate in conversations differently, but trying to unravel how A interpreted B's comment is not something I would do.

It's all I do. It's the only way I can understand if my next comment will offend or work as a joke or if I'm posing an interesting topic. It's what makes conversations so draining to an introvert I feel. The more people, the more I have to figure out what I can say to be ok with the group at hand.

As I posted below, there is a difference between observing how different people react to a particular comment (O(n)) and observing how different people react to a particular comment based on who it's from (O(n^2)). I'm mostly trying to question the idea that there's anything quadratic in the number of participants going on here. Are you sure you're saying that the work you do is quadratic?

That's fascinating, thinking about this, I've realised that I only do this when I'm in a conversation with new people or for whatever reason am specifically considering the interplay of what's being said.

Otherwise I have a broad set of heuristics I apply which I adjust as needed.

I never considered that a tendency to do this might have an impact on introversion/extroversion. Something to mull over, thanks!

I think you (and everyone else) does this implicitly. It makes sense for a survival perspective to be able to assess how people react to certain comments & actions in conversation. If other people support a comment it's a signal that you can reiterate the comment or build upon it.

There's a difference between observing how a comment was generally received and remembering exactly how each person reacted. I'm not saying nobody does the latter, but I don't.

And the other way, one can notice how a person reacts to a comment without necessary needing to remember the source of it. Both of these are going to scale linearly (obviously).

I might pick up on something like "A seems to respond to B uniformly negatively" and make a note of that, but remembering one notable thing doesn't require me to "allocate" memory for all of the other non-memorable things. I'm not literally building and labeling a graph, like some commenters are implying. Or if you insist, it's a sparse data structure.

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