Qualitative research and psychological theorizing

Br J Psychol. 1992 Feb;83 ( Pt 1):97-111. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1992.tb02426.x.


Unlike other disciplines in the human sciences, psychology has undervalued the role of qualitative research methods in scientific inquiry. This has done a disservice to psychology, depriving its practitioners of skills which can simultaneously liberate and discipline the theoretical imagination. 'Grounded theory' is one useful approach to the systematic generation of theory from qualitative data, and alternative criteria can be advanced for judging the adequacy of research where qualitative methods have been used. An advantage of qualitative research is that theory is generated which is contextually sensitive, persuasive, and relevant.

MeSH terms

  • Documentation / methods
  • Humans
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design