Vermersch's 'explicitation' interviewing technique

Today JB gave us a course about Vermersch's 'explicitation' interviewing technique (mostyl used in France in the field of ergonomics and within the education system). Meant to elicit verbalisations of an activity, the idea of this technique is to favor evocation versus rationalisation from the actor. Here is the process, in two words:

  1. Contract between actor and observer: "if you agree, I will ask you to remember a specific moment...", "if there is something that you don't want to mention, don't tell it".
  2. Initial anchor: "put yourself back into the situation", "can you recall the moment when you were..." or "when you think at that moment, what was the first thing that came into your mind?" or Fishing: "what is the first thing that came into your mind?". The point is to talk about a particular moment (anchor), the interviewer can specific a moment or let the person choose one.
  3. Prompting: "when you [do] what are you doing?", "when you see X, what are you doing?", "When you say you did X, what did you do?" trying to identify in the discourse when it's general and ask the interviewee to precise his/her action, the interviewer also has to avoid introducing his/her own presuppositions. Use the present, use temporal marker "and then?", "and what happen next?", or use spatial marker "where are you when you do X?"

It's possible to use specific cues (like in NPL), like the interviewee gaze to see whether he/she is evocating or not (when he/she stares into space).

Also more about this here.

Why do I blog this? even though I use other techniques (such as self-confrontation for instance), this kind of exercise is interesting for our next catchbob experiment, to reconstruct the game activity.