A METHOD FOR ESTABLISHING THE REPRESENTATIONAL VALIDITY OF INTERACTION CODING SYSTEMS: DO WE SEE WHAT THEY SEE?

Authors

  • MARSHALL SCOTT POOLE,

    1. Marshall Scott Poole (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 1980) is an assistant professor of speech communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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  • JOSEPH P. FOLGER

    1. Joseph P. Folger (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, 1979) is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Michigan.
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Abstract

This paper offers a new methodological approach to establishing the validity of interaction coding schemes, and it reports research which applies these procedures to three coding systems that have been used to study small group decision making: Bales' (1950) Interaction Process Analysis System, Fisher's (1970) Decision Proposal Coding System, and Mabry's (1975) Pattern Variable Coding System. The procedures offered here provide a method for determining whether the functions or constructs identified by a coding system are part of the common meanings ascribed to the participants in the interaction. Of the three coding systems evaluated in the study, the IPA System represented subjects' interpretations of decision-making interaction better than the Decision Proposal System, which, in turn, performed better than the Pattern Variable System.

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