Think-aloud protocols

Verbal protocols could be seen as first validated in a 1980 Psychological Review paper by Ericsson and Simon (later published in book form as 'Protocol analysis: verbal reports as data'). Ericsson provides an overview of Protocol analysis and Verbal Reports on Thinking based in cognitive psychology and behaviour. While Someren et al's practical guide to modelling cognitive processes using the think aloud method is useful for those planning to use this approach.

This technique has, however, also been used in other settings. For example, usability engineer Sally Abolrous discusses think-aloud protocols as a means for collecting performance and preference data on usability in her paper 'Probing and its Effects on the Validity and Reliability of Verbal Reports'. Karahasanovic has developed an online tool for using the think-aloud method with large numbers of software engineering students (although the tool doesn't seem to be available for download). Others have used this method with nurses looking at reasoning and clinical decision making.


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