Are There Ways out of the Self-inflicted Irrelevance of the Qualitative Off-stream?


  • Norbert Groeben Universität zu Köln



interdependence of research object and method, qualitative vs. quantitative paradigm, intra- and inter-paradigmatic rivalry, integrative pluralism, layer ontology, esoteric approaches vs. systematic research methods, mixed-method-approaches


The qualitative paradigm is relatively irrelevant in psychological research and teaching, which is not only due to the hegemony of the quantitative paradigm. This irrelevance also arises from the fragmentation within the qualitative research paradigm, which is a result of the principle of a close interdependence of research object and method; this fragmentation is evident in the lack of a systematic approach to the concept of method. The conviction to conduct a superior psychological approach leads to destructive competition both within the qualitative paradigm and in relation to the quantitative paradigm. Instead, I recommend the pursuit of approaches that attempt to integrate qualitative and quantitative research methods on the basis of the idea of ontological layers, clearly distinct from esoteric approaches. Above all, the development of sophisticated and complex methods of statistical analysis appears a promising way to overcome the self-inflicted irrelevance of the qualitative research paradigm. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0604347


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Author Biography

Norbert Groeben, Universität zu Köln

Norbert GROEBEN, Univ.-Prof. (Allgemeine Psychologie und Kulturpsychologie); Universität Köln; Arbeitsschwerpunkte: Wissenschaftstheorie und (Qualitative) Methodologie; Sprach- und Denkpsychologie; Theoretische Psychologie und Psychologische Anthropologie; Empirische Literaturwissenschaft (Hon.Prof. f. Allg. u. Emp. Lit.wiss., Universität Mannheim)



How to Cite

Groeben, N. (2006). Are There Ways out of the Self-inflicted Irrelevance of the Qualitative Off-stream?. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(4).



FQS Debate: Quality of Qualitative Research