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A practical guide to conversation research: how to study what people say to each other

Yeomans, Michael, Boland, F. Katelynn, Collins, Hanne K., Abi-Esber, Nicole ORCID: 0000-0003-4766-3285 and Brooks, Alison Wood (2023) A practical guide to conversation research: how to study what people say to each other. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 6 (4). ISSN 2515-2459

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Identification Number: 10.1177/25152459231183919


Conversation—a verbal interaction between two or more people—is a complex, pervasive, and consequential human behavior. Conversations have been studied across many academic disciplines. However, advances in recording and analysis techniques over the last decade have allowed researchers to more directly and precisely examine conversations in natural contexts and at a larger scale than ever before, and these advances open new paths to understand humanity and the social world. Existing reviews of text analysis and conversation research have focused on text generated by a single author (e.g., product reviews, news articles, and public speeches) and thus leave open questions about the unique challenges presented by interactive conversation data (i.e., dialogue). In this article, we suggest approaches to overcome common challenges in the workflow of conversation science, including recording and transcribing conversations, structuring data (to merge turn-level and speaker-level data sets), extracting and aggregating linguistic features, estimating effects, and sharing data. This practical guide is meant to shed light on current best practices and empower more researchers to study conversations more directly—to expand the community of conversation scholars and contribute to a greater cumulative scientific understanding of the social world.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2023 12:12
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2024 18:15

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