BILLIG, M., 2015. Discursive and rhetorical psychology. IN: Encyclopedia of Social Theory (in press)
Discursive psychology is a comparatively new approach to psychology using discourse analysis to re-caste traditional psychological questions. Rhetorical psychology is a part of discursive psychology and it stresses that thinking is often argumentative and rhetorical. Both discursive and rhetorical psychology developed as reactions against cognitive psychology and recommend the study of outward language rather than inner cognitive processes. Discursive and rhetorical psychologists see speakers as being more flexible than most attitude theorists do. Discursive psychologists have been using conversation analysis to study how speakers use ‘psychological language’ in conversational interaction.
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