Doing Psychological Research: Gathering and Analysing Data

By Nicky Hayes | Go to book overview
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Grounded approaches to
qualitative research

Grounded theory
Phenomenological analysis
Action research

The last chapter ended with a theory-led approach to qualitative research - that is, an approach which is used to test or evaluate existing theories. In this chapter, we will be looking at forms of qualitative research in which the theory emerges from the data and isn't imposed beforehand. We will be looking at two main examples of this approach: the development of grounded theory, in which qualitative data are used to develop a theoretical base which can then be used for future explorations; and phenomenological analysis, in which the research data are collected to provide an insight into the participant's own subjective world.

What do these threeterms mean?grounded theorytaxonomyobjectivity

Following that, we will go on to look explicitly at an approach to psychological research which, while not explicitly qualitative, takes as its starting point the idea that it is important to deal with the way that the research participant is an active individual, making their own sense out of what is going on, and acting accordingly. Action research has existed in psychology for a long time, but the growth of qualitative perspectives has meant that it is becoming increasingly recognised as a valuable research technique for psychologists.

Grounded theory

The term 'grounded theory' was introduced by the sociologists Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss, in 1967, in response to several debates which had been taking place about the value of qualitative as opposed to quantitative analysis. Grounded theory, in Glaser and Strauss's view, was theory developed in an inductive manner, from a close


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Doing Psychological Research: Gathering and Analysing Data


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