Conversation analysis (CA) is an approach to the study of social interaction that empirically investigates the mechanisms by which humans achieve mutual understanding. It focuses on both verbal and non-verbal conduct, especially in situations of everyday life. CA originated as a sociological method, but has since spread to other fields. CA began with a focus on casual conversation, but its methods were subsequently adapted to embrace more task- and institution-centered interactions, such as those occurring in doctors’ offices, courts, law enforcement, helplines, educational settings, and the mass media, and focus on multimodal and nonverbal activity in interaction, including gaze, body movement and gesture. As a consequence, the term conversation analysis has become something of a misnomer, but it has continued as a term for a distinctive and successful approach to the analysis of interactions. CA and ethnomethodology are sometimes considered one field and referred to as EMCA.