I’ve found that I can repeat participant quotes and “channel” their voices years after a research session is over.

I found the definition below for the verb Channel:

to allow a spirit to come into your body and speak through you, or to tell people a message that you have received in this way.

But I don't know if the meaning is correct or not.

So, could you please explain it to me?

The fuller text is:

As we complete our research, we transcribe the session in full. This time-consuming effort is critical, because it embeds the participants’ collective voice in our heads. As we play, type, pause, and rewind our recordings, we begin to quite literally think from the perspective of the participant. I’ve found that I can repeat participant quotes and “channel” their voices years after a research session is over. We distribute the transcriptions into thousands of individual utterances, and then we post the utterances all over our war room.


2 Answers 2


The scare quotes suggest that "channel" is being used in a figurative or extended meaning. I do think the meaning is extended from the spiritualist sense of "allow a ghost to speak through your mouth". But instead of a literal spirit, the writer finds that she feels able to speak from another person's perspective, as a result of the careful listening that comes from making transcriptions.

She feels as if the other person is speaking through her, almost as if it was a spirit.

The scare quotes indicate that this is only a metaphor, and she doesn't really believe in ghosts.


You stopped on the least likely definition of "to channel". The following definition is also to be found on the same page:

to control and direct something such as money or energy towards a particular purpose

In the context of the text, although not very specific, it can be understood as:

use their "voices" again

as in

use the information transmitted (in the past) with their voice ( = their speech) for the purposes of the present

as if creating a conduit / channel for the information to flow from the past to the present.

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