The next stage of building a model

I have been busy writing – the model of empathy that came from reconciliation talk has been developed a stage further so that it can be used in exploring how people do or don’t do empathy in different kinds of talk. I’ll add a link to the paper (no 3) on the website.

Some social scientists don’t like ‘models’ because it sounds too much like engineering or hard science and not suited to describing people and behaviour. For me, a model helps to bring everything together – it’s more of a visual summary of what I think empathy is and how it works. Having a model helps me not to forget any of the aspects of empathy when I examine a situation where people are talking together.

In the process of research, the model keeps evolving until it holds everything important and captures processes without any contradictions. I may find that I can’t get to one model that covers all I’m doing, in which case I’ll have several variants.

The model won’t predict for us whether or not empathy will happen in a new situation, but it will help understand what does happen. It’s a fairly loose and ‘soft’ type of model, but still, at least so far, helpful


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