Transcribing the Adult Attachment Interview: The Use of "{{sic}}"

Helen Deane Dozier

As a rule of thumb, "{{sic}}" is needed (without the quotes) if there might be some confusion by the person reading the transcript as to whether there might be a typo in the transcript or if that is what the subject actually said.  For example, if the subject said, "She made me so made" instead of "she made me so mad," the transcriber would add {{sic}} after the misused "made" at the end of the phrase--very important to the coder’s analysis in that instance and a possible indication the subject is losing herself in the dialog and not monitoring her own conversation.  If {{sic}} was missing, the coder might assume a probable typo in that case, rather than a lapse in discourse by the subject.

If a subject says, "My mother was 6 when I died," a {{sic}} would alert the coder that the sentence was recorded accurately. If a subject butchers an entire sentence and says, "I runned up the stairs caught me slammed door bang," the transcriber could add {{sic}} at the end of the sentence, which tells the coder that the transcriber was listening carefully and recording faithfully.  If any of the misused words might look like a typo, though, the {{sic}} should be attached to that particular word.

To repeat, the {{sic}} is necessary whenever the coder needs to know that the transcriber did not make a mistake and that is what the subject actually said. 

Transcribing Loss and Abuse

Transcribers should always try for something close to perfection, but should be particularly careful about the accuracy of their transcriptions when the subject is being questioned about LOSS or ABUSE (or other trauma), listening carefully and perhaps multiple times to try to make out the words if a passage is close to being inaudible.  Obtaining clean transcriptions of discussions around the subjects of loss and abuse is vital to accurate scoring and may afford the only opportunity the coder has in the entire transcript to determine the important Unresolved state of mind.

In summary:
*Transcribers should be encouraged to put themselves in the place of the reader and figure out if misuse of grammar, etc., will be obvious or if the reader will wonder if the transcriber made an error.*

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