A Dynamic Dyadic Systems Perspective on Interpersonal Conversation

Denise Haunani Solomon, Miriam Brinberg, Graham Bodie, Susanne Jones, Nilam Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Conversations between people are where, among other things, stressors are amplified and attenuated, conflicts are entrenched and resolved, and goals are advanced and thwarted. What happens in dyads’ back-and-forth exchanges to produce such consequential and varied outcomes? Although numerous theories in communication and in social psychology address this question, empirical tests of these theories often operationalize conversational behavior using either discrete messages or overall features of the conversation. Dynamic systems theories and methods provide opportunities to examine the interdependency, self-stabilization, and self-organization processes that manifest in conversations over time. The dynamic dyadic systems perspective exemplified by the articles in this special issue (a) focuses inquiry on the turn-to-turn, asynchronous exchange of messages between two partners, (b) emphasizes behavioral patterns within and the structural and temporal organization of conversations, and (c) adapts techniques used in analysis of intensive longitudinal data to identify and operationalize those dynamic patterns. As an introduction to the special issue, this paper describes a dynamic dyadic systems perspective on conversation and discusses directions for future research, such as applications to human-computer interaction, family communication patterns, health care interventions, and group deliberation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-292
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Methods and Measures
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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