University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)297-316
JournalInteraction Studies
Journal publication dateJan 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


This paper examines interaction involving a child with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, a humanoid robot and a co-present adult. In this paper data from one child (collected as part of the ROBOSKIN project) is analysed in order to evaluate the potential contributions of a conversation analytic perspective to the examination of data relating to socio-emotional reciprocity. The paper argues for the value of treating all interaction as potentially relevant, looking without carefully pre-defined target behaviours and examining behaviour within its specific sequence of interaction. Adopting this approach, the paper suggests, enables noticings and observations that might not be available from perspectives that rely on the coding of pre-specified behaviours in isolation. Treating all interaction as potentially relevant brought into view interactions that might otherwise be dismissed or ignored - because they occurred before, or after, the trial itself. Being informed by the value of unmotivated looking - rather than pre-specified coding schemes - enabled highly relevant behaviour that was not anticipated within the trials to be analysed. Finally, seeing sequence as important meant that behaviours were appreciated in their intricate detail, enabling a more precise understanding than might be available if they were considered separately from that sequential environment.

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