Staff Associate Conducts Research Regarding Interpersonal Communication

Marie Gerhardt, Staff Associate for Enrollment Management at SUNY Cobleskill presented her research concerning conversational analysis at the fall 2014 Language and Social Interaction Working Group (LANSI) Conference. The research examines and highlights interactional work that follows the expression of our emotions in our everyday conversations, an area in the field of conversational analysis formerly unrecognized.

Prior research regarding conversational analysis centered on the conversational has emphasized the non-verbal display of emotion, also referred to as the “startle” response. Focusing on the study of the actual everyday conversations, Gerhardt explored how much work gets done when we express or display an emotion. From her findings, it was shown that when we show or express how we feel, interactional work gets done in very particular and organized ways.

“I had been trained to look at everyday conversation from a conversational analytics perspective. This type of research is completely different,” explained Gerhardt. “The data and the talk take priority… what gets talked about and discussed is what emerges and what can be supported by the talk. The data drives the “theory”.

Gerhardt completed her Master’s Degree in Interpersonal Communication at SUNY Albany in May 2014.