Human behavior and experience is richer than any measurement can show and is fragile under the measurements. The conference “Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in the Cognitive and Language Sciences” aims to unite researchers in a quest for methodological approaches and a common language, which can – at least to some degree – deal with these underappreciated facts in the cognitive, social and human sciences. The conference will be co-organized by the International Society for the Study of Interactivity, Language and Cognition, and the University of Warsaw Human Interactivity and Language Lab, which are committed to uncovering the fundamental role of human interactivity and language in constituting cognition.
Our aim is to bring together researchers working within several approaches, which are allied by their focus on preserving the value-realizing and qualitative aspects of human behavior and experience and by seeking quantitative methods that enable this. Within ecological, enactive, cognitive ethnographic and dynamical systems frameworks there is a long-standing worry about reducing persons, their deeds and feelings to measurements and relating the measurements to each other by (most often) linear models. Yet the dialogue among them and the exchange of research experience on the methodological level seem still rather limited, each approach developing predominantly their own valuable ways of investigations, responding to the specific needs of its domain.
With this conference we aim to strengthen the ongoing conversations and strike new encounters among researchers from these, and others, approaches, to unite them in a common concern for the complexity, richness and fragility of individual and collective cognition as it arises from language-infused interactions. We will try to give due weight to the qualitative methods, under the assumption that the best “measuring device” for human purposes is another human being: we have evolved not only to read each other but to feel with each other and act together. In seeking “tender” quantitative methods we will turn to those approaches which:
- do not take operationalization to be a straightforward process,
- can respect complexity, reciprocal causality and emergence,
- refrain from hasty reifications of theoretical constructs, and
- promote process-oriented analyses.
Therefore, we invite researchers from the fields of psychology, language sciences, cognitive sciences, anthropology, philosophy, biology and computer sciences to present reflection on their research, which would shed light on the abovementioned problems. The general idea is to bring qualitative and quantitative researchers together (or the quantitative and qualitative sides within each researcher) and strike a dialogue leading to mutual incorporation of the values important for both types of methods and to finding language – formal as well – for interacting with others. We accept both individual submissions and thematic sessions (4 talks each). Topics may include but should not be limited to:
- research on interaction and early interaction,
- research on language development in interaction,
- research on language emergence and use in interactions, task oriented and others,
- philosophical analyses of the impediment to the integration of the qualitative and quantitative methods,
- how to acknowledge value-realizing in interactions with the environment and others,
- research employing dynamical systems approach to behaviour and interaction analysis,
- research on early semantic development and participatory sense making,
- theoretical analyses on limits of measurement and the types of knowing,
- methods of modeling heterogeneous, multiscale phenomena (for example, dynamical models, agent-based models, statistical models),
- mixed methods integrating qualitative and quantitative data,