The aim of this study was to gain insight into the phenomenon of improvisation, how it is manifested in communication, and to conceptualize the process of improvisation in general. I aimed to construct a model for use in teaching and further analysis of training programs that target and develop improvisation skills in communication. The ability to communicate is part and parcel of psychologists’ work. I develop and supervise interactive classes and training programs to promote improvisation and communication skills, using the grounded theory of improvisation in communication under conditions of high uncertainty. The improvisation sessions were videotaped, transcribed, and analyzed. Applying the qualitative method and working with grounded theory methodology, I studied five sessions. Here I report on the major categories that condition the improvisational process: Level of Anxiety, Coping, Communicative Skills, Imagination, and Spontaneity. I also outline the markers of spontaneous behavior: strange combinations (oxymorons), humor, and rapid topic switching.


improvisation, spontaneity, communication, grounded theory methodology, training

Author Bio(s)

Olga B. Temezhnikova is a Senior Lecturer with the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Moscow, Russia Prospect Vernadskogo, 84, bldg. 2 Moscow, Russian Federation 119571. In her current research she is focusing on the self-other knowledge asymmetry as a research method contributing to the development of necessary skills. Please direct correspondence to temezhnikova-ob@ranepa.ru.


I thank the students of the Department of Psychology of Lomonosov Moscow State University and from the Psychology Department of the Academy of Public Administration in Moscow, who agreed to participate in the improvisation training sessions. I would like to express my special gratitude to Dr. Professor Takhir Yu. Bazarov, who encouraged me to work on this topic.

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