Configuring prospective sensations: Experimenters preparing participants for what they might feel
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Officially Accepted for Publication


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AbstractUsing video recordings of the setup phase of cognitive neuroscience experiments, we examine episodes where experimenters show and tell participants how a particular tool (a "blunt needle") will be used and how that might feel. We analyze how experimenters describe and demonstrate prospective sensations for participants. We show that experimenters often describe sensations "by negation" (saying what participants will not experience) and sometimes "indirectly" (for example, by formulating what they will do). We show that these descriptions are elaborated through demonstrations of sensations, both on the experimenters' and the participants' bodies. Importantly, we document how the interplay of the description and demonstration of sensations is important in reassuring participants about the nonharmful nature of the tool and its use.
Acceptance Date11/04/2020
All Author(s) ListDavid Matthew Edmonds, Christian Greiffenhagen
Journal nameSymbolic Interaction
Year2020
PublisherWiley
ISSN0195-6086
eISSN1533-8665
LanguagesEnglish-United States
Keywordssensations, descriptions, demonstrations, psychology experiments, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis

Last updated on 2021-14-01 at 00:00