Janet Bavelas

Janet Bavelas
Professor Emeritus

Ph.D. 1970 (Stanford) Joined Department in 1970

Office: off campus

Although trained as a social psychologist, I work more in psycholinguistics. My program of research focuses on the unique features of face-to-face dialogue. These include (a) the moment-by-moment coordination and collaboration between interlocutors and (b) the integration of visible co-speech acts (hand and facial gestures plus gaze) with words and prosody. Most of my research has been experimental, but I am also branching out into applied areas including psychotherapy and medical dialogues. For this research, our group has developed a method, microanalysis of face-to-face dialogue (MFD), for the second-by-second analysis of digitized video. MFD is often inductive but results in quantifiable data with high inter-analyst reliability.


Other interests include solution-focused brief therapy, social justice issues, and critical evaluation of psychotherapy research.

Representative Publications

Bavelas, J. B., Gerwing, J., Healing, S., & Tomori, C.  (2016).  Microanalysis of Face-to-face Dialogue. An Inductive Approach. In C. A. VanLear & D. J. Canary (Eds.), Researching communication interaction behavior: A sourcebook of methods and measures (pp. 129-157). Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.

Bavelas, J.B., Gerwing, J., & Healing, S. (2014). Hand gestures and facial displays in conversational interaction. In T. Holtgraves (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of language and social psychology (pp. 111-130). New York: Oxford University Press.

Bavelas, J. B., Gerwing, J., & Healing, S. (2014). The effect of dialogue on demonstrations: Direct quotations, facial portrayals, hand gestures, and figurative references. Discourse Processes,  51, 619–655.

Bavelas, J. B., & Smock Jordan, S. (2013 & 2014). co-editors of two special issues on “SFBT contributions to practice-oriented research":
Part I:  Microanalysis of communication. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 32, 14-17.
Part II: Changing the language of clinical practice.  Journal of Systemic Therapies,   33, 30-32.

Bavelas, J.  (2011).  Connecting the lab to the therapy room.  Microanalysis, co-construction, and solution-focused therapy. In C. Franklin, T. Trepper, W. J. Gingerich, & E. McCollum (Eds.), Solution-focused Brief Therapy: From Practice to Evidence-Informed Practice (pp. 144-162). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.