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Research methods in clinical psychology: An introduction for students and practitioners Chris Barker, Nancy Pistrang, and Robert Elliott PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Research methods in clinical psychology: An introduction for students and practitioners Chris Barker, Nancy Pistrang, and Robert Elliott. CHAPTER 5 Foundations of qualitative methods. Features of qualitative research. Uses language as its raw material

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Research methods in clinical psychology: An introduction for students and practitioners Chris Barker, Nancy Pistrang, and Robert Elliott

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Research methods in clinical psychology:An introduction for students and practitionersChris Barker, Nancy Pistrang, and Robert Elliott

CHAPTER 5

Foundations of qualitative methods


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Features of qualitative research

  • Uses language as its raw material

    • Sources of data: interviews, conversations, field notes, policy statements, newspaper articles

  • Aims to study people’s thoughts, feelings, or use of language in depth and detail

  • Emphasises description and understanding rather than explanation and prediction

  • Emphasises the meaning of experience/behaviour in context

  • Inductive


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Quantitative - qualitative debate

  • technical

  • epistemological


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Advantages of qualitative methods

  • Enable the individual to be studied in depth and detail

  • Can address complex issues or processes

  • Avoid the simplifications imposed by quantification

  • Data vivid and easy to grasp

  • Good for hypothesis generation and for exploratory research

  • Participant has more freedom

  • May find things that you weren’t looking for

  • Can integrate with clinical work


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Disadvantages of qualitative methods

  • Less control

  • Longer to carry out

  • Data hard to analyse (data overload)

  • Reliability and validity harder to evaluate


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Qualitative traditions

  • Phenomenology

  • Social constructionism


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Phenomenology

(Husserl)

  • The study of people’s experiences, “life worlds” and underlying assumptions

  • Understanding is the true end of science

  • Multiple valid perspectives (“epistemological pluralism”)


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Types of phenomenological research

  • Grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss)

  • Interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith)

  • Life history research (Denzin)

  • Participant observation (Taylor & Bogdan)

  • Protocol analysis (Ericsson & Simon)


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Doing phenomenological research

  • The role of theory

  • Personal biases/expectations

  • “Bracketing”

    • setting one’s beliefs aside

  • Empathic stance


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Social constructionism

  • Part of the post-modernist and post-structuralist movements

  • Non-realist

  • “Radical pluralism”

  • Often focuses on language in text or speech

    • indeterminacy of language and meaning

    • language as social action

    • doesn’t assume that language reflects cognition

  • Emphasises the reflexivity of psychological theory


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Types of constructionist research

  • Critical approaches (Reason & Rowan)

  • Discourse analysis (Potter & Wetherell)

  • Radical feminist research (Belenky et al.)

  • Social representation (Moscovici)


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Ways of evaluating qualitative research

1.Owning one’s perspective

2.Situating the sample

3.Grounding in examples

4.Providing credibility checks

5.Coherence

6.Accomplishing general v. specific research tasks

7.Resonating with readers

(Elliott, Fischer & Rennie, 1999)


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Conclusions

  • When best to use qualitative or quantitative methods?

  • “Methodological pluralism”

  • Triangulation

    • best not to rely solely on one perspective, source or approach

  • Can combine qualitative and quantitative methods


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