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Qualitative Psychology

Qualitative Psychology
A Practical Guide to Research Methods

Third Edition
Edited by:

April 2015 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Undertaking qualitative research in psychology can seem like a daunting and complex process, especially when it comes to selecting the most appropriate approach for your project or assignment. This book, written and edited by a world-leading group of academics and researchers, offers an accessible, critical and practical way into qualitative research in psychology. Each chapter provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to using a qualitative research method – from Conversation Analysis or Focus Groups to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis or Narrative Psychology. Whatever approach you choose to take, this book will ensure you get it right from the start.   


New to this Third Edition:

  • A chapter on Thematic Analysis 
  • A  section on how to choose and select the most appropriate method for your project


Jonathan A. Smith
1. Introduction
Peter Ashworth
2. Conceptual foundations of qualitative psychology
Jonathan A. Smith and Mike Osborn
3. Interpretative phenomenological analysis
Kathy Charmaz
4. Grounded theory
Michael Murray
5. Narrative psychology
Paul Drew
6. Conversation analysis
Carla Willig
7. Discourse analysis
Sarah Riley and Peter Reason
8. Cooperative inquiry: an action research practice
Sue Wilkinson
9. Focus groups
Victoria Clark, Virginia Braun, Nikki Hayfield
10. Thematic analysis
Michael Larkin
11. Choosing your approach
Lucy Yardley
12. Demonstrating validity in qualitative psychology

We did not adopt the book this year as it was impossible to implement it in the time that was left (books have to be indicated almost a year in advance). I am strongly considering adopting the book next year however. It provides a very clear and accessible outline for students and is pleasant to read. It covers most (although not all) of the topics in the course and therefore we consider using it as essential course material

Professor Reitske Meganck
Psychology , University of Ghent
April 6, 2016

Very good overview of main methodologies and a useful inclusion regarding thematic analysis

Ms Rhiannon Jones
Social Work, Keele University
March 4, 2016

Excellent coverage of processes not often detailed in Qualitative Research texts.

Miss Hayley McEwan
Psychology , University of the West of Scotland
February 11, 2016

This text provides a broadly applicable guide to qualitative methods and is pitched at the appropriate level for our trainees. In particular, the chapter on 'choosing your method' is helpful and something not covered as successfully in other texts of a similar nature.

Dr Danielle De Boos
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Nottingham University
November 24, 2015

I really liked this book, it gave a clear overview of the key qualitative research methods used in psychology and most importantly how to apply them. I really liked the final chapter which was based on how to choose an appropriate method.

Mrs lindsay woodford
School of Psychology, University of The West of England
November 23, 2015

I teach qualitative research methodology to undergraduate and postgraduate students so this book will really be helpful as a guide to the practical application of all processes involved in the qualitative research process. I find it particularly easy to read and the inclusion of comparisons between theoretical approaches and illustrations of data is very useful, especially for novel researchers. It is a great resource!

Ms Cindy Melanie Swartbooi
Psychology, Cornerstone Institute
December 14, 2015

I love this new edition. The updated content and examples brings the needed contribution of qualitative methods to the forefront of psychology research. I especially love the addition of chapter 2 by Peter Ashworth that positions the various forms of qualitative psychology historically and philosophically. I am recommending it to all my students doing qualitative dissertations.

Mrs Angela Beggan
Sport and Exercise, University of the West of Scotland
January 13, 2016

A clear, comprehensive and detailed overview of key qualitative approaches to psychology.

Dr Daphne Josselin
Department of Psychology, City University
October 20, 2015

Excellent text - clear, well-written, with good coverage - very useful !

Dr Marco Cinnirella
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London
August 26, 2015

A well updated version of an excellent text. Recommended to students as a concise explanation of the theoretical underpinnings of core qualitative research methods

Dr Clare Uytman
Psychology , Queen Margaret Univeristy
October 13, 2015

- A new chapter on thematic analysis by two leaders in the field, Victoria Clark and Virginia Braun, and their colleague Nikki Hayfield.
- An additional chapter towards the end of the book ‘Choosing your approach’ by Michael Larkin, which helps the reader (after learning about the different approaches) decide how to choose the right one for a research project they are about to embark on.
- The book now has a consistent set of subheadings in each chapter.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Qualitative Psychology: Grounded Theory