Qualitative research: multimethod, interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter,
study things in their natural settings to make sense of or interpret phenomena in terms of the
meanings people bring them, empirical research with contextual data rather than quantitative
Goal of quantitative research: development of concepts which help us to understand social
phenomena in natural (rather than experimental) settings giving due emphasis to the meanings,
experiences, and views of the participant.
Inductive: start with a question, observations and experience
Deductive: start with theory then collect data to confirm or disconfirm hypothesis
Can qualitative complement quantitative?
-generate info helpful to structuring questionnaires, instruments
-help generate hypotheses
-aid in interpretation and reporting of quantitative findings
Reflexivity: process by which researchers reflect upon (and make visible) the impact of their
own history, values and social status on the research and the relationship between researchers
and participants, standard of quality and ethics in qualitative research. We must acknowledge
our own bias to eliminate it from research, via- bracketing, reflexive journaling, writing detailed
first person accounts
Benefits of qualitative research: Inductive, open-ended, person focused, rich detailed data, more
ethical, access information quantitative may miss, less-biased, naturalistic, meaningful, learn
from participant validity
Negatives: more subjective, less generalizable, difficult to interpret, time consuming, requires a
lot of resources, reliability and validity issues, less control so no cause and effect relationships
When to do qualitative research:
-when little is known about a topic
-when subject is sensitive, stigmatized, population is vulnerable
-lived experience promotes understanding
-black box- for evaluation, we may know from quantitative research what happens but need
qualitative to know what is actually happening and how and why
-explanatory detail for quantitative studies
-can engage in social action, action research
Primary prevention (like looking up stream in story of woman and the river), rather than just
documenting the problems we can start to prevent them in action research
Negotiated outcomes: about ethics and rigor, go over results with the participants, they have
control, make sure you are representing the study the way they want it
- Logical positivism (highly quantitative verification of a hypothesis) - Post-positivism (still highly focused on specific hypotheses but more focused on
- Social constructivism (emphasis on connection between scientist and what is being
studied and the idea that each person has their own reality)
- Critical (every person is part of their circumstance of their society and this has inevitable
reflection in their work)
Exogenous: of external origin
Endogenous: internal origin
Etic: universal construct
Emic: individual construct
• Emergent/ flexible
• Purposeful sampling
Data collection strategies:
• Qualitative data, thick descriptive
• Personal experience and engagement
• Empathic neutrality
• Dynamic systems
• Unique case orientation, inductive analysis moving towards creative synthesis
• Holistic perspective
• Connect sensitivity
• Reflexivity- researchers address their own subjectivity
Critical subjectivity: organized and disciplined in subjectivity
Empathy: interest caring, be human
Verstehen- understanding, knowledge with empathy and context
Systematic inquiry- important for systematic inquiry
• There are also several different research paradigms from which to analyze research;
positivism (highly quantitative verification of a hypothesis), postpositivism (still highly
focused on specific hypotheses but more focused on rejecting hypotheses), constructivist-interpretivism (emphasis on connection between scientist and what is
being studied and the idea that each person has their own reality), critical-ideological
(every person is part of their circumstance of their society and this has inevitable
reflection in their work)
• Each scientist also has personal beliefs about how their own beliefs should reflect in
their work, how the work should be represented and the procedures that should be taken
• Many counseling psychologists are pulling from different paradigms and approaches,
and combining them depending on their needs and being flexible is an asset to the field
Study of Survivors Dragon boat Racing:
-co-investigators: seniors in the field
-community advisory group: women who are survivors and dragon boaters
-organizational support: funding
Started dragon boating in 1996, now there are teams all over the world
-what is psychosocial impact of Survivor boat participation
-community-based participatory, mixed method design
-interviewed 56 women’
-surveyed 400 women on 4 standardized measures, quality of life, mental adjustment to cancer,
post-traumatic stress, transcendence
-interview themes: inspiring hope, awakening to the self, regaining control, becoming stronger,
living life to the fullest
-increased dragon boat training was associated with reduced risk of recurrence, even more so
than those just getting exercise on their own
Methodology (the way)- ethnography, participatory action research etc. set of beliefs
Methods (the how)- interviews, participant observations, focus groups, document analysis
Ethical research Tri-council, emphasizes morally acceptable ends and acceptable means, you
need a good reason to do the experiment as well as do it keeping in mind dignity, free informed
consent, respect for vulnerable persons, for privacy and confidentiality, justice and
inclusiveness, balancing harms and benefits, minimizing harms, maximizing benefits.
Ethical reviews: needed for universities, funders, journals, write a protocol and submit to review
panel, ensures you consider ethical issues, gives time to flesh out issues, most review boards
are in hospitals and universities, not a lot in communities. But this creates a barrier of power, to
increase knowledge and publish it you have to go through a review board that already has
power of knowledge.
-participation must be based on free and informed consent
-review boards make a lot of assumptions about the people that will be studied: only considers
consent on the individual level, assumes a high level of education, assumes participants will be comfortable entering into a contractual agreement with researcher, situates humans as helpless
“research subjects”, ability to consent can change over time
-researchers obliged to break confidentiality when: current and ongoing child abuse, risk to self
or others. They need to know the relevant laws in their area and how to report. Have to believe
reporting is necessary for mitigating the risk. Balance initial risk and foreseeable consequences.
Sometimes reports can be subpoenaed by police, how do we mitigate this risk? Remind them
that you may have to report, ask participants to purposely refrain from giving researcher their
name, ensure that participants are aware that they could choose to disclose and the possible
Psychologists have a history of involvement in research that reinforces status quo
The mission of the APA is to benefit society and improve people’s lives
The six major approaches:
Ethnography: based on field work where you live in community for months or years (Margaret
mead or Jane Goodall) to try to understand the culture in terms of the people themselves,
prolonged observation. From Anthropology. Has been widely criticized as ethnocentric as it first
emerged as the study of “the other”.
Emic- view of insider, this is what we want in research, be true to subjects of study
Etic- view of the outsider, implies some degree of detachment or “higher” level of
Five criteria for quality research in creative ethnographic tradition:
1. Substantive contribution- does this piece contribute to our understanding of social life?
2. Aesthetic merit- does it invite interpretive responses? Is it complex?
3. Impact- does it affect other emotionally or intellectually? Does it inspire new research?
4. Reflexivity- need to reflect on researcher’s own biases
5. Expression of reality- does the text seem true? Is it a credible account?
Types of ethnography:
-Institutional ethnography- less about individuals more about institution culture
-Critical ethnography- more ideological, want to engage in working with a group of people,
participatory action research, identify and address social inequalities
Margaret Mead- studied difficulties of adolescents everywhere, concluded teens in Samoa do
not experience the same struggles as teens in U.S.
Phenomenological: emphasizes a focus on people’s subjective experiences and
interpretations of the world Grounded theory: a methodology to create theory, founded in sociology, emphasizes meaning
and interpretation as essential human processes. A response to rigidity of behaviorism. We
attribute social meaning to objects and it changes our behavior. Don’t start with hypothesis
testing, begin with inductive research, exploration.
Blumer 3 major premises:
1. Human beings act toward things based on the meanings we have for them
2. The meanings that arise are due to interaction with peers
3. Meanings are handled and modified by the person holding them and their interpretive
Strauss and Corbin-
Charmaz-compares “objectivist” and constructivist approaches to grounded theory, critiques
Symbolic interaction: came out of sociology, moved on to create grounded theory.
Emphasizes the importance of symbols and how they are used in understanding and
interpreting human behavior.
Process of analysis:
Open coding: identifying, naming and describing and categorizing phenomena found in texts
Axial coding: relating codes to each other through a process of inductive and deductive
Selective coding: choosing one subject as core and relating all others to this one
Memos: short documents written as one goes through the analysis
Hermeneutics: trying to find under what conditions a human act took place, a product was
produced that make it possible to interpret its meaning. What something means is related to
where it was originally created and in the context in which we currently observe it. Focuses on
the problem of interpretation.
Hermeneutic circle: the meaning is the sum and interactive cyclical interpretation of the parts.
Neither the whole nor the individual can be understood without reference to one another and
hence it is a circle. The meaning of a text must be found within the context of its cultural,
historical and literary context.
Narrative approach: try to find what the narrative story reveals about the person and the world
from which it came, informed by Hermeneutics, honors people’s stories as data that can stand
on their own as pure description- narrative documentary of experience. It extends the idea of
text to include interviews, life history memoirs and creative non-fiction. Includes personal
stories, graffiti, suicide notes, family stories to reveal cultural and social patterns through the
lens of individual stories.
Orientation (ideological): research with a frame of reference, denies any open-mindedness as
researcher determines the focus of the inquiry Feminist inquiry: some of the first to break down barriers between researcher and participants,
acknowledge rapport, valuing women’s ways of knowing, participatory processes supporting
consciousness-raising and reflexivity, going beyond knowledge generation for “its own sake” to
engage in using knowledge for change.
Other examples include: LGBTQ, African American
Basic research: knowledge for knowledge sake, scholarly pursuits
Applied research: research applied to solve a problem, improve something
Summative evaluation: what we usually do, have a research question, run a program, do a pre
and post evaluation. Post evaluation is summative.
Formative evaluation: Testing done along the way at intervals
Action research: research with the goal of improving, can be applied to any methodology
1) Goals: exploration? Description? Theory development?
2) Theoretical framewor