The Qualitative Heuristic Approach: A Methodology for Discovery in Psychology and the Social Sciences. Rediscovering the Method of Introspection as an Example

  • Gerhard Kleining Universität Hamburg
  • Harald Witt Universität Hamburg
Keywords: qualitative methodology, qualitative experiment, heuristics, discovery, introspection


Qualitative heuristics, which were developed at the University of Hamburg, Germany, try to bring back the qualities of systematic exploration and discovery into psychological and sociological research. This contribution discusses the historical background, the four basic rules to optimize the chance for discovery, the research process as dialogue, the testing processes, and as an example the methodology to investigate and reevaluate the classical method of introspection. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0001136


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Author Biographies

Gerhard Kleining, Universität Hamburg
Gerhard KLEINING (, Prof., Dr. phil., Professor am Institut für Soziologie der Universität Hamburg. Arbeitsschwerpunkte: Sozialstruktur, Lebenswelten, Vorstellungsbilder, Vorurteile, quantitative und qualitative Methoden, heuristische Sozialforschung, Introspektion.
Harald Witt, Universität Hamburg
Harald WITT, Prof. Dr. phil., Dipl.-Psych., Professor für Psychologie am Fachbereich Psychologie der Universität Hamburg, Psychologisches Institut I, Arbeitsbereich Arbeits-, Betriebs- und Umweltpsychologie. Arbeitsschwerpunkte: Arbeit und Technik, qualitative Forschungsmethoden, Introspektion