Conversation analysis and interpretive quantitative research on psychotherapy process and problematic interpersonal behavior

Michael A. Westerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this article, I examine conversation analysis, a fruitful area of qualitative research, in order to extend my prior explorations of the idea that quantitative methods can and should be part of the repertoire of interpretive approaches employed by investigators committed to treating psychological phenomena as irreducibly meaningful. My examination includes considering several lines of research by investigators who are not practitioners of conversation analysis in which quantitative methods were employed to study patient behavior in psychotherapy and defensive behavior more generally. These lines of inquiry show that (a) quantitative research methods have a good deal to offer practitioners of conversation analysis as they endeavor to advance our understanding of the organization of interactions, and (b) we can employ quantitative methods and continue to embrace a commitment to interpretive inquiry. I also offer a critique of fundamental methodological precepts associated with conversation analysis, which differ notably from the precepts guiding most qualitative research efforts in psychology. In a fascinating twist, these precepts, which include discomfort with interpretive research procedures, have resulted in limitations in very recent attempts by some practitioners of conversation analysis to employ quantitative methods in their investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-178
Number of pages24
JournalTheory and Psychology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Fingerprint

Psychotherapy
Research
Qualitative Research
Research Personnel
Psychology
Conversation Analysis
Quantitative Methods
Precepts

Keywords

  • conversation analysis
  • dyselaboration
  • interpersonal defense
  • interpretation
  • patient coordination
  • qualitative research
  • quantitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Cite this

Conversation analysis and interpretive quantitative research on psychotherapy process and problematic interpersonal behavior. / Westerman, Michael A.

In: Theory and Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 2, 04.2011, p. 155-178.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{36debdddba8c4dde9d565a452d31b448,
title = "Conversation analysis and interpretive quantitative research on psychotherapy process and problematic interpersonal behavior",
abstract = "In this article, I examine conversation analysis, a fruitful area of qualitative research, in order to extend my prior explorations of the idea that quantitative methods can and should be part of the repertoire of interpretive approaches employed by investigators committed to treating psychological phenomena as irreducibly meaningful. My examination includes considering several lines of research by investigators who are not practitioners of conversation analysis in which quantitative methods were employed to study patient behavior in psychotherapy and defensive behavior more generally. These lines of inquiry show that (a) quantitative research methods have a good deal to offer practitioners of conversation analysis as they endeavor to advance our understanding of the organization of interactions, and (b) we can employ quantitative methods and continue to embrace a commitment to interpretive inquiry. I also offer a critique of fundamental methodological precepts associated with conversation analysis, which differ notably from the precepts guiding most qualitative research efforts in psychology. In a fascinating twist, these precepts, which include discomfort with interpretive research procedures, have resulted in limitations in very recent attempts by some practitioners of conversation analysis to employ quantitative methods in their investigations.",
keywords = "conversation analysis, dyselaboration, interpersonal defense, interpretation, patient coordination, qualitative research, quantitative methods",
author = "Westerman, {Michael A.}",
year = "2011",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1177/0959354310394719",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "21",
pages = "155--178",
journal = "Theory and Psychology",
issn = "0959-3543",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Conversation analysis and interpretive quantitative research on psychotherapy process and problematic interpersonal behavior

AU - Westerman, Michael A.

PY - 2011/4

Y1 - 2011/4

N2 - In this article, I examine conversation analysis, a fruitful area of qualitative research, in order to extend my prior explorations of the idea that quantitative methods can and should be part of the repertoire of interpretive approaches employed by investigators committed to treating psychological phenomena as irreducibly meaningful. My examination includes considering several lines of research by investigators who are not practitioners of conversation analysis in which quantitative methods were employed to study patient behavior in psychotherapy and defensive behavior more generally. These lines of inquiry show that (a) quantitative research methods have a good deal to offer practitioners of conversation analysis as they endeavor to advance our understanding of the organization of interactions, and (b) we can employ quantitative methods and continue to embrace a commitment to interpretive inquiry. I also offer a critique of fundamental methodological precepts associated with conversation analysis, which differ notably from the precepts guiding most qualitative research efforts in psychology. In a fascinating twist, these precepts, which include discomfort with interpretive research procedures, have resulted in limitations in very recent attempts by some practitioners of conversation analysis to employ quantitative methods in their investigations.

AB - In this article, I examine conversation analysis, a fruitful area of qualitative research, in order to extend my prior explorations of the idea that quantitative methods can and should be part of the repertoire of interpretive approaches employed by investigators committed to treating psychological phenomena as irreducibly meaningful. My examination includes considering several lines of research by investigators who are not practitioners of conversation analysis in which quantitative methods were employed to study patient behavior in psychotherapy and defensive behavior more generally. These lines of inquiry show that (a) quantitative research methods have a good deal to offer practitioners of conversation analysis as they endeavor to advance our understanding of the organization of interactions, and (b) we can employ quantitative methods and continue to embrace a commitment to interpretive inquiry. I also offer a critique of fundamental methodological precepts associated with conversation analysis, which differ notably from the precepts guiding most qualitative research efforts in psychology. In a fascinating twist, these precepts, which include discomfort with interpretive research procedures, have resulted in limitations in very recent attempts by some practitioners of conversation analysis to employ quantitative methods in their investigations.

KW - conversation analysis

KW - dyselaboration

KW - interpersonal defense

KW - interpretation

KW - patient coordination

KW - qualitative research

KW - quantitative methods

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79953768529&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79953768529&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0959354310394719

DO - 10.1177/0959354310394719

M3 - Article

VL - 21

SP - 155

EP - 178

JO - Theory and Psychology

JF - Theory and Psychology

SN - 0959-3543

IS - 2

ER -