Interaction process analysis (IPA) is a method for observing and categorizing social interaction among the members of small face-to-face groups. This entry summarizes the content of IPA, the history of its development, and some of the ways in which it has been used to analyze group processes.

The Content and Coding of IPA

Using IPA, observers can break down any sequence of verbal interactions among the members of a group into units, and then classify each unit as belonging to one of twelve categories of behavior. These categories are: (1) showing friendliness or solidarity; (2) displaying tension release or dramatizing; (3) agreeing or expressing acceptance; (4) providing suggestions; (5) offering opinions; (6) giving information or orientation; (7) asking for information or orientation; (8) asking for opinion; ...

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