Professor Elizabeth  Stokoe

Professor Elizabeth Stokoe


Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

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Key Expertise
Conversation analysis, social interaction, human communication

About me

Elizabeth Stokoe joined the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science in January 2023. Prior to this, she was Professor of Social Interaction in the Discourse and Rhetoric Group at Loughborough University. During her 20 years at Loughborough, she led the BSc Social Psychology (2007-2010), was Associate Dean Research in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities (2013-2018), and, most recently, was Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for REF2021. She has also been a research and impact advisor for University of Southeastern Norway since 2016. 

Elizabeth’s research is in conversation analysis, focused on understanding how social interaction works in settings from first dates to medicine and healthcare; from mediation to police crisis negotiation and emergency service calls, and from sales encounters to interaction in “SaaS” (Software as a Service) platforms and conversational user interfaces. The common thread in her work is the identification of effective and less effective interactional practices and their impact on the outcome of conversational encounters. She has published over 150 research outputs, including several co-authored books (Discourse and Identity, 2006, Conversation and Gender, 2011, Discursive Psychology: Classic and Contemporary Issues, 2016). Her most recent co-authored book is Crisis Talk: Negotiating with Individuals in Crisis (Routledge, 2022). A book on social categories in interaction is due for publication during 2024, co-authored with Dr Kevin Whitehead and Prof Geoff Raymond (both UCSB). 

Elizabeth is passionate about translating her research in conversation analysis for wider audiences and she has presented and discussed her research at many science festivals and events including at Microsoft, Google, TED, Latitude Festival, and The Royal Institution, and featured on BBC Radio 4’s “The Life Scientific” and “Word of Mouth." Her book, Talk: The Science of Conversation, was published in 2018 (Little, Brown). Since 2008, she has worked extensively with external partners across public, third, and private sectors, and been a industry fellow at Typeform and Deployed.  She developed ‘CARM’, a research-based training tool, which was awarded a Wired Innovation Fellowship. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she participated in the Policing and Security subgroup of the Independent Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), which provided independent, expert behavioural science advice to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). She is also a member of Independent SAGE’s behaviour group.

Elizabeth’s current projects include bringing conversation analysis to the world of conversation design, and she has just started work on a new book with Cathy Pearl (Google conversation design lead) and Dr Saul Albert (Loughborough University) and a series of expert classes for the Conversation Design Institute. She is also a co-investigator on the £10M ESRC Centre for Early Mathematics Learning launched in June 2022 and led by Prof Camilla Gilmore at Loughborough University. She was named as an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 2021.


  • Wired Innovation Fellow 
  • Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society

Expertise Details

Conversation analysis; social interaction; human communication; membership categorization; communication training; conversation design; science communication

My research