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Author: Hanneke Bot
In this era of globalisation, the use of interpreters is becoming increasingly important in business meetings and negotiations, government and non-government organisations, health care and public service in general.
This book focuses specifically on the involvement of interpreters in mental health sessions. It offers a theoretical foundation to aid the understanding of the role-issues at stake for both interpreters and therapists in this kind of dialogue. In addition to this, the study relies on the detailed analysis of a corpus of videotaped therapy sessions. The theoretical foundation is thus linked to what actually takes place in this type of talk. Conclusions are then drawn about the feasibility and desirability of certain discussion techniques.
Dialogue Interpreting in Mental Health offers insight into the processes at work when two people talk with the help of an interpreter and will be of value to linguists specialising in intercultural communication, health care professionals, interpreters and anyone working in multilingual situations who already uses or is planning to use an interpreter.
On the cognitive mechanisms underlying wording effects in surveys
Author: Bregje Holleman
Questionnaires are widely used in the social sciences and very often survey data form the basis for governmental and commercial planning or evaluation. Yet the quality of survey data is not attested to, since a large variety of factors in the language-use situation prove to influence the answers unintentionally. The forbid/allow asymmetry is a well-known example of this: when respondents are asked whether something should be forbidden, about 50% may answer ‘yes, forbid’ – whereas an equivalent question phrased with the verb ‘to allow’ could well cause up to 75% of the respondents to answer ‘no, it should not be allowed’. Which question wording is preferable to measure respondents’ true attitudes? Only when we know why the answers differ, can we decide on that.
This book is the first to apply a systematic cognitive approach to describe the causes of the forbid/allow asymmetry. The question-answering process is unravelled by a variety of experiments and meta-analytic techniques. Analyses reveal that the difference in question wording does not prompt respondents to retrieve different attitudes. Instead, the asymmetry reflects that the question wording causes the response options to be used differently. Because of the qualifying dimensions in the question text, the meanings of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ change, as well as the cognitive distance between them.
This study sheds a different light on processes of question-answering and text interpretation. Furthermore, practical advice on questionnaire design and on the interpretation of survey data is given on the basis of these new insights.
Volume Editors: Piet Westendorp, Carel Jansen, and Rob Punselie
User interfaces and supporting documentation are both supposed to help people when using a complex device. But often, these forms of support seem to come from different worlds. User interface designers, document designers, and researchers in both interface and document design share many goals, but are also separated by many barriers.
In this book, user interface designers and documents designers from Microsoft Corporation and from Apple Computer, plus researchers from several universities try to bridge the gap between interface design and document design. They discuss opportunities for closer cooperation, and for more integrated and effective help for users of modern technology.
A study into the relationships between writing processes, text quality, and cognitive and linguistic skills
In this volume a relatively new approach to writing process research is attempted; time is included as a very important factor in describing the writing process. The link between the writing process of 12-year old students, the quality of the compositions, and writing skills is investigated in six studies, discussing the importance of genre knowledge, linguistic skills, and cognitive skills in writing. Including linguistic and cognitive skills gives new perspectives on the relationship between the writing process and the resulting composition. The concepts used in these studies are drawn from the fields of both linguistics and cognitive psychology.