Intersubjectivity refers to the variety of possible relations between perspectives. It is indispensable for understanding human social behaviour. While theoretical work on intersubjectivity is relatively sophisticated, methodological approaches to studying intersubjectivity lag behind. Most methodologies assume that individuals are the unit of analysis. In order to research intersubjectivity, however, methodologies are needed that take relationships as the unit of analysis. The first aim of this article is to review existing methodologies for studying intersubjectivity. Four methodological approaches are reviewed: comparative self-report, (...) observing behaviour, analysing talk and ethnographic engagement. The second aim of the article is to introduce and contribute to the development of a dialogical method of analysis. The dialogical approach enables the study of intersubjectivity at different levels, as both implicit and explicit, and both within and between individuals and groups. The article concludes with suggestions for using the proposed method for researching intersubjectivity both within individuals and between individuals and groups. (shrink)
There have been many readings of Mead's work, and this paper proposes yet another: Mead, theorist of the social act. It is argued that Mead's core theory of the social act has been neglected, and that without this theory, the concept of taking the attitude of the other is inexplicable and the contemporary relevance of the concept of the significant symbol is obfuscated. The paper traces the development of the social act out of Dewey's theory of the act. According to (...) Mead, Dewey's theory does not sufficiently account for consciousness. Grappling with this problematic leads Mead to several key ideas, which culminate in his theory of the social act. The social act and taking the attitude of the other are then illustrated by the analysis of a game of football. The interpretation presented has two novel aspects: first, symbolisation arises not simply through self taking the attitude of the other, but through the pairing of this attitude with the complementary attitude in self; second, self is able to take the attitude of the other to the extent that self has in actuality or in imagination previously been in the social position of the other. From this standpoint the key issue is how the attitude of self and other become integrated. New directions for empirical research, aimed at advancing this question are outlined. Finally, the paper shows how the social act can contribute to our contemporary concerns about the nature of the symbolic. (shrink)
Social representations research has tended to focus upon the representations that groups have in relation to some object. The present article elaborates the concept of social representations by pointing to the existence of “alternative representations” as sub-components within social representations. Alternative representations are the ideas and images the group has about how other groups represent the given object. Alternative representations are thus representations of other people's representations. The present article uses data from Moscovici's analysis of the diffusion of psychoanalysis to (...) examine how people engage with alternative representations. It is demonstrated that there can be more or less dialogical relations with alternative representations. The analysis concludes by considering seven “semiotic barriers” which work to neutralise the dialogical potential of alternative representations, thus on the one hand enabling groups to talk about the views of others, while, on the other hand, remaining unchallenged by those views. (shrink)
We use speech shadowing to create situations wherein people converse in person with a human whose words are determined by a conversational agent computer program. Speech shadowing involves a person (the shadower) repeating vocal stimuli originating from a separate communication source in real-time. Humans shadowing for conversational agent sources (e.g., chat bots) become hybrid agents ("echoborgs") capable of face-to-face interlocution. We report three studies that investigated people’s experiences interacting with echoborgs and the extent to which echoborgs pass as autonomous humans. (...) First, participants in a Turing Test spoke with a chat bot via either a text interface or an echoborg. Human shadowing did not improve the chat bot’s chance of passing but did increase interrogators’ ratings of how human-like the chat bot seemed. In our second study, participants had to decide whether their interlocutor produced words generated by a chat bot or simply pretended to be one. Compared to those who engaged a text interface, participants who engaged an echoborg were more likely to perceive their interlocutor as pretending to be a chat bot. In our third study, participants were naïve to the fact that their interlocutor produced words generated by a chat bot. Unlike those who engaged a text interface, the vast majority of participants who engaged an echoborg neither sensed nor suspected a robotic interaction. These findings have implications for android science, the Turing Test paradigm, and human-computer interaction. The human body, as the delivery mechanism of communication, fundamentally alters the social psychological dynamics of interactions with machine intelligence. (shrink)
Ethical discussions have entered into the discourse of the International Whaling Commission. In accordance with the existing approach in international environmental law, countries can legitimately choose not to exploit a resource in the traditional sense. Recognition of this possibility is important because it is commonly suggested that countries must adopt a lethal approach to so-called “sustainable whaling” as there are no other legitimate alternatives. However, the precedent of Antarctica suggests otherwise in international environmental law. Moreover, when the possibilities of the (...) nonlethal utilization of whales via operations such as whale watching are examined, the legitimacy of the nonlethal choices is even stronger. (shrink)
Organisational culture is assumed to be a key factor in large-scale and avoidable institutional failures. Whilst models such as “ethical culture” and “safety culture” have been used to explain such failures, minimal research has investigated their ability to do so, and a single and unified model of the role of culture in institutional failures is lacking. To address this, we systematically identified case study articles investigating the relationship between culture and institutional failures relating to ethics and risk management. A content (...) analysis of the cultural factors leading to failures found 23 common factors and a common sequential pattern. First, culture is described as causing practices that develop into institutional failure. Second, and usually sequentially related to causal culture, culture is also used to describe the problems of correction: how people, in most cases, had the opportunity to correct a problem and avert failure, but did not take appropriate action. It was established that most of the cultural factors identified in the case studies were consistent with survey-based models of safety culture and ethical culture. Failures of safety and ethics also largely involve the same causal and corrective factors of culture, although some aspects of culture more frequently precede certain outcome types. We propose that the distinction between causal and corrective culture can form the basis of a unified and generalisable model of organisational failure. (shrink)
Do autistic people read autistic behavior in the same way as neurotypical observers? We consider evidence that suggests autistic-to-autistic interactions demonstrate enabling norms and question the possibilities for neurotypical researchers to learn from autistic social appraisal.