Qualitative methods in personal construct research: A set of possible criteria



Publication Details

Viney, L. L. & Nagy, S. (2012). Qualitative methods in personal construct research: A set of possible criteria. In P. Caputi, L. L. Viney, B. M. Walker and N. Crittenden (Eds.), Personal Construct Methodology (pp. 53-68). United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.


Construct approaches are epistemologically and ontologically consistent with qualitative research methods that focus on the interpretation of meanings. Meanings cannot be disconnected from their context, and must be understood in terms of both the similarities and the differences between people. Qualitative research is the rigorous art of interpreting the meanings of others. It is well placed to tease out the variety of ways in which a phenomenon may be understood. In this chapter, we make five major points: (i) psychology and psychotherapy have not made sufficient use of qualitative research methods; Oi) the decision to use qualitative or quantitative methods should be grounded in the epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying the research question: (iii) construct research is well suited, epistemologically and ontologieally, to the use of qualitative methods; (iv) established criteria, that is, credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability, can be applied to qualitative methods to demonstrate their application: and (v) some criticism can be made of these criteria.

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