Even worse, he suddenly realized, he might unknowingly be the one to perpetuate unwanted conversation traps for others. In about half of the conversations, both people wanted to talk less, but their cutoff point was usually different. Participants in both studies reported, on average, that the desired length of their conversation was about half of its actual length. “Do those whose conversations end just when they want them to actually end up with better conversations than those that last longer?” Epley asks. “I don’t know, but I’d love to see the results of that experiment.”The findings also open up many other questions.