To date, the study of communicated explanations has been, at best, unsystematic. There has been little recognition that many, if not most, explanations are eventually delivered to a hearer or hearers. These potential audiences constrain the way the explanation is ultimately shaped. Similarly, researchers have devoted themselves to the study of "accounts," for the most part without an accompanying interest in the fundamental processes of event comprehension. This volume is devoted to bridging the gap between these two traditions.
"In assembling this collection of papers, McLaughlin, Cody and Read set out to bridge 'the gap' between the attribution and accounts literatures. In fact, they've drawn together three literatures (attributions, accounts-as- stories, and accounts-as-alignment-talk), each of which has in recent years pointed to a fourth: cognitive science. That's a real plus, and it makes this collection particularly valuable."
—International Society for the Study of Personal Relationships