Psychological matters in institutional interaction: Insights and interventions from discursive psychology and conversation analysis

2019-12-09T11:50:09Z (GMT) by Elizabeth Stokoe
In this article, I describe how psychologists who work with language—in particular, naturally occurring social interaction—can develop evidence-based communication training for professionals. I start by situating my research in discursive psychology and conversation analysis and explaining some points of (dis)connection between mainstream and qualitative/critical psychology that nevertheless enable practical application and impact. I explain how I developed the Conversation Analytic Role-Play Method (CARM), which analyzes interaction “in the wild” in diverse institutional settings to explore what constitutes effective practice. Drawing on police crisis negotiation and community mediation intake telephone calls, I show how psychological matters (e.g., identity, prejudice) are relevant to and affect the progress and outcome of encounters. I explain how these data and findings, rather than hypothetical cases and simulations, have been used in workshops with practitioners. Overall, the article makes the case for discursive psychology and conversation analysis to provide rigorous, empirically grounded communication training with integrity.