International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 2 Num. 2 - December 2002


Addressing the Limitations of Protocol Analysis in the Study of Complex Human Behavior [Solucionando las Limitaciones del An?lisis de Protocolos en el Estudio del Comportamiento Humano Complejo]

Volume 2 Num. 2 - December 2002 - Pages 115-130


Francisco Cabello and Denis O?Hora , ,


Many commentators have argued that the protocol analysis method (Ericsson & Simon, 1993) has considerable utility in the study of complex human behavior. In particular, it has recently been suggested that this method allows for detailed analyses of human language and cognition from a behavioral perspective. Despite this utility, however, relatively few behavioral studies have employed this technique. In the current article, we point out certain empirical difficulties that we have encountered in attempting to employ the protocol analysis method to study human language and cognition. We then present a number of solutions to these problems, which we suggest will allow for wider use of the protocol analysis method in behavioral psychology.

Key words:

Protocol analysis, ?Silent dog? method, Verbal reports, Verbal behavior, Rule-governed behavior

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