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Department Chair, Associate Professor, FRHD
Macdonald Institute, Room 245
I have always had a love of language and a desire to understand humans’ relationships with each other and with animals. As an Applied Social Psychologist, I am a qualitative researcher who specializes in the study of communication in relationships. I study naturally occurring real-world conversations to explore how personal and institutional relationships are constituted in talk-in-interaction. I also use discourse analysis to analyze written language. Most recently, I have been using applied conversation analysis as an evidence-based way to investigate and support best practices in clinical communication in the professional domains of psychotherapy and veterinary medicine. For example, I have studied interactions between psychotherapy interns and their clients to consider the sorts of therapeutic questions that clients sometimes resist answering. With colleagues, I am currently investigating interactions between therapists and clients in Emotionally Focused Therapy, looking at what happens when therapists direct clients to engage in imaginary dialogues as a core part of this model of therapy. I have worked with colleagues in veterinary medicine to study veterinarians’ talk to distressed animals in the veterinary clinic. We have investigated how the wording of veterinarians’ questions to pet owners can shape the amount of information pet owners share about what they are feeding their pets, as well as how the design of veterinarians’ nutritional recommendations can affect the clarity and quality of decision-making about pets’ dietary regimens. Research interests include: conversation analysis, discursive psychology, clinical communication (e.g., medicine, psychotherapy), health, human-animal relationships, legal discourse, sexualized violence, and youth.
I received my MA in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1989 after completing a double major in Psychology and English during which I conducted Honours thesis research in both subject areas. After my MA, I was torn between pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology for a future in professional practice or a PhD in Social Psychology for an academic career. I worked at Kinark Child and Family Services for six years after which I did my PhD in Applied Social Psychology at the University of Guelph, graduating in 2000.
MacMartin, C. Wheat, H. C., Coe, J. B., & Adams, C. L. (in press). Conversation analysis of veterinarians’ proposals for long-term dietary change in companion animal practice in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.
MacMartin, C., Wheat, H. C., Coe, J. B., & Adams, C. L. (2015). The effect of question design on dietary information solicited during veterinarian-client interactions in companion animal practice in Ontario, Canada. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 246, 1203-1214.
Stoewen, D. L., Coe, J. B., MacMartin, C., Stone, E. A., & Dewey, C. E. (2014). Qualitative study of the communication expectations of clients accessing oncology care at a tertiary referral center for dogs with life-limiting cancer. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 245, 785-795.
MacMartin, C., Coe, J. B., & Adams, C. L. (2014). Treating distressed animals as speakers: I know responses in veterinarians’ pet-directed talk. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 47, 151-174.
Cindy Adams, University of Calgary
Andrea Buchholz, University of Guelph
Jason B. Coe, University of Guelph
Robert Elliott, Strathclyde University
Alexa Hepburn, Rutgers University
Olga Sutherland, University of Guelph
Coe, J. B. (principal investigator), MacMartin, C. (co-investigator). MediCal/Royal Canin (Sponsor), $130,838, Analysis of Decision-Making, Diet Talk and Cost Discussions Occurring During Veterinarian-Client-Patient Interactions in Small Animal Practice. 2010-2014.
I am currently collaborating with Jason Coe of the University of Guelph and Cindy Adams at the University of Calgary using conversation analysis to study videotapes of veterinarians’ and pet owners’ discussions about pet nutrition. I am collaborating with Olga Sutherland of the University of Guelph, Amanda LeCouture of the University of Adelaide, Robert Elliott of the University of Strathclyde, and Alexa Hepburn of Rutgers University on the study of Emotionally Focused Therapy. I am working with Andrea Buchholz, Alexia Prescod, and Ann Wilson of the University of Guelph investigating the effectiveness of patient simulations in teaching clinical skills to students in Applied Human Nutrition. I am also supervising the MSc research of graduate student Sarah Ranby who is conducting a program evaluation of the Tools for Life curricula being used in classrooms by the Wellington District Catholic School Board.
Potential future projects
New funded opportunities to collect and analyze brand new videotaped veterinary-client-patient interactions that are reflective of current issues in small animal practice are being sought.
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