Speech Behavior as an Objective Correlate of Empathy and Outcome in Interview and Psychotherapy Research: A Review with Implications for Behavior Modification

Joseph D. Matarazzo, Arthur N. Wiens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The interpersonal dynamics and therapeutic processes involved in behavior modification and in psychotherapy have features in common. Speech behavior of therapist and interviewee appears to be a vehicle for the study of such potential commonality. A review of the literature revealed seven studies which searched for interviewer and interviewee speech correlates of the level of empathy of the interviewer-therapist. Five of the seven studies reported a moderately strong positive correlation between one of several speech measures and empathy, one study found a positive but more modest correlation, and one study found a relationship in one group but not in another group. Two of the seven studies searched for comparable correlations between these speech measures and the outcome of psychotherapy, and both found such correlations. This literature review thus suggests that easily and reliably obtained speech measures show promise of being an inexpensive and heuristically useful index of the rich interaction that constitutes the process, and even outcome, of the two-person psychotherapy, behavior modification, or other interview interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-480
Number of pages28
JournalBehavior Modification
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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