Volume 4, No. 1, Art. 24 – January 2003

Conference Report:

Leo Gürtler

Third Workshop "Qualitative Psychology: Research Questions and Matching Methods of Analysis". Perlora, Spain, October 25-27, 2002, organized by Mechthild Kiegelmann, Günter L. Huber, Leo Gürtler (Center for Qualitative Psychology, Germany) and Ramón Pérez (University of Oviedo, Spain)

Abstract: This report note reviews the third workshop Qualitative Psychology in Perlora (Spain) (Oct., 25-27, 2000), organized by the Center for Qualitative Psychology. The main topic of the conference was Research Questions and Matching Methods of Analysis. Researchers (from novices to experts in the field of qualitative methodology) from different countries presented their work. A special topic of the workshop was a session in which selected researchers discussed the first chapter of CERVANTES' Don Quixote with their own (qualitative) method of choice. This report note briefly discusses the contributions of all participants and evaluates the outcomes of the conference.

Key words: qualitative psychology, qualitative methodology, research questions, methods of analysis, Cervantes, conference, workshop

Table of Contents

1. Overview

2. Analyzing the First Chapter of CERVANTES' Don Quixote by Using Different Methods

3. Group Work and Individual Presentations of Qualitative Approaches

3.1 Group 1

3.2 Group 2

3.3 Group 3

4. Roundtables of Qualitative Work in Psychology

5. Resume

6. Plans for the Future

Appendix: Conference Schedule






1. Overview

The third workshop Qualitative Psychology: Research Questions and Matching Methods of Analysis took place in Perlora near Gijon in the North of Spain. The surroundings—an old Franco holiday village—were well suited for our discussions about qualitative methods in psychology. Participants from different European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Austria and Germany came to present and discuss their own research work. The conference was organized in collaboration with the Center for Qualitative Psychology and Prof. Dr. Ramón PÉREZ from the University of Oviedo/Spain. This was the first time that the conference was held outside of Germany. Workshops are organized regularly each year as the German academic term starts in the autumn. This is usually the third weekend of October and everyone involved in the field of qualitative psychology is invited to participate. The workshop lasts for two and a half days (Friday evening until the middle of Sunday) and gives various opportunities for attendees to establish networks and get to know one another. Information about the conference (schedule, abstracts, papers etc.) is made available at the Center's web site1); see also KIEGELMANN, HELD, HUBER and Ertel (2000); for the conference schedule see the Appendix. [1]

Every conference has a special topic. This year's topic was research questions and matching methods of analysis. The designation of a conference topic serves as a guideline for paper preparation. It represents the starting point for methodological discussions and helps to ensure that research coming from different theoretical backgrounds, countries, and working fields share at least some commonality with each other. The implementation of a main conference topic is necessary because the aim of each conference is primarily methodology and only secondarily content work. These rules establish at least some theoretical overlap and it is quite easy to enter into argumentation on the basis of a shared background. The conference schedule is divided into different subsections:

  • The conference got underway on Friday evening with an opening and welcoming address and some short reflections about individual and joint activities and research areas. Participants could review their own activities and involvement in the field of qualitative methodology during the last year.

  • The first day began with a methodological discussion about the first chapter of Don Quixote, written by CERVANTES. Each presenter chose a unique approach of (qualitative) methodology and applied it to the first chapter to demonstrate practical aspects of the technique in question and the outcomes that could be reached by applying it.

  • The afternoon continued within small working groups in which participants had the opportunity to present their own work in qualitative methodology. The small size of each group contributed to the quality and ease of discussion. Afterwards in the plenum, each group presented a poster of its discussion to the other workgroups.

  • Day 2 began with roundtables. These roundtables came from different areas to cover old, new and other interesting aspects of qualitative methodology, like fund raising, computer-aided (video) analysis of qualitative data, or topics that are highly interconnected with methodology (e.g. ethics).

  • The final plenum reviewed aspects of the entire conference and collected information for future activities and also included plans for the fourth workshop in Blaubeuren (Oct, 17-19, 2003). [2]

2. Analyzing the First Chapter of CERVANTES' Don Quixote by Using Different Methods

After a short introduction and a welcome address, the morning work started with the main topic of day 1, the discussion of the first chapter of Cervantes' "Don Quixote." From an idea originating with KLEINING (Hamburg/Germany) at the 2001 conference, different researchers used specific methods of analysis in which they were expert to present their understanding of the text. This process of using the same text as a background for all researchers makes it possible to compare the methods used and the results they generate. It was also necessary to narrow the differences that often result in the process of translating a text into another language. A solution was reached by referring to only one version of the book in each language. These versions were made available in advance at the web-site of the Center for Qualitative Psychology. Everybody was able to download it and to cite it in ways that were understandable to everyone. The next part of this conference report will review the different research methods of analysis to the first chapter of Don Quixote. In addition to discussions about methods, results, and new insights that emerged out of the discussion about the text are described. In order of appearance the contributions of KLEINING, HUBER, KIEGELMANN, SCHWEIZER and MEDINA, FELIZ, DOMÍNGUEZ and PÉREZ will follow: [3]

KLEINING started with a method called qualitative-heuristic approach of text-analysis. He generated hypotheses about the text and tested them heuristically step by step. This approach of gaining knowledge about structures hidden in the text has two critical characteristics: qualitative-observation and qualitative-experiment. KLEINING remarked that

"[b]ecause of their precision, text experiments are best performed after the research person has gained an overall impression of the text. As an example I question the dependent clause in the first sentence of chapter one: '... the name of which I have no desire to call to mind ...'" (KLEINING, 2002, p.1). [4]

The conclusions that KLEINING was able to draw out of these experimental questions was the finding of a contrast between reality and imagination which led him to explore the theory of humor that underlies the text. The second part, qualitative observation, is a flexible method and also includes knowledge about other works of the same author (CERVANTES) in its analysis. This leads to a variety of findings; e.g. that the narrator is not described in great detail, whereas in other works of CERVANTES this is not the case. Other observations lead to various hypotheses that can be tested against the text. KLEINING's outcomes are of three parts: (a) The reality concept in contrast to imagination, (b) the humor concept and (c) the general theory of humor behind Don Quixote. The latter was discussed in comparison to other humor theories (e.g. SCHOPENHAUER). [5]

HUBER took over the role of the "bad guy" by analyzing the text in a quantitative way (e.g. by word-counts). He stated the reason for doing so was that

"[a]s the thematic frame of this workshop draws the attention to the relation between research questions and adequate methods of data analysis, the considerations should not be biased by excluding the realm of quantitative methods rashly from any scrutiny" (HUBER, 2002, p.1). [6]

HUBER remarked that text analysis can be traced to a long tradition of quantitative analysis as well. The procedure is such that it is necessary not to interpret but to concentrate on obvious characteristics of the text like frequency, structure, and other surface characteristics. However, even quantitative analysis is a process of making (qualitative) decisions, imbedded within the special context of the text. Implicit assumptions of quantitative analysis have to be considered in terms of questions such as: Does the frequency of a word mirror the intention of the author or not? What meaning is behind the frequency of words? HUBER analyzed the text with the help of AQUAD 6 (http://www.aquad.de/) and also calculated an index of redundancy to get information about the difficulty of the first chapter. HUBER asserted that quantitative analysis of a text is highly interconnected with qualitative decisions and therefore the terms triangulation or integration have to be emphasized to describe and practice the actual process of doing research. [7]

KIEGELMANN undertook a feminist-emancipatory approach to the text. Interestingly, as she described the process stages of the method, the necessary conditions to practice "voice-approach" are not fulfilled by the text. The voice-approach is a method originally developed to understand adolescent girls' struggle with sexism in contemporary US society. The voice-approach reveals different layers of individuals' expressions of subjective experiences and self-presentations in social relationships. KIEGELMANN concluded that this method of analysis is not appropriate for analyzing the text. There are several reasons for this: The method is "to investigate different layers of meaning that occur when individuals struggle with social pressures" (KIEGELMANN, 2002, p.1). KIEGELMANN adopted the method "to investigate the more general issue of silence breaking within social groups" and to use "a more explicit analysis of the specific social context in question" (ibid.). Both targets are not accessible from reading the first chapter due to the lack of information about the social community in which CERVANTES was living, his social surroundings, etc. The text is fiction, but facts are missing too, and almost no information can be won about the narrator. Another problem is that data collected by the text analysis of the first chapter of CERVANTES' book are not a product of a research design and a well-defined research relationship. Thus, KIEGELMANN states that "a very important connection between the research questions, sample, and setting of the data, methods of analysis is missing" (ibid.) and the validity of the conclusions that could be drawn from the text would be of very low quality and of course would also miss the point, the research question. If the method is practiced as a mere "exercise," the application of the voice approach conceals that Don Quixote has only one (dominant) voice: the voice of desire to accomplish knighthood and be famous to conquer his lady. No additional information about social context is present. [8]

SCHWEIZER, coming from theology and informatics, explored different aspects in comparison to the quantitative analysis of HUBER. SCHWEIZER prepared a synopsis, word count (in relation to the text process stages) and illocution units. "Aphrastic illocution units realize a proper communicative function" and "[t]he viewpoint" of the analysis is to "follow the linear sequence of the words" (SCHWEIZER, 2002, p.1), because this is the subjective perspective of the reader. Expressions stimulate the reader to construct his/her own reality as a logical consequence of being actively involved in reading. The process of interpreting the text is done on the basis of the reader's historical, political and cultural background and not on that of Don Quixote. Thus, structure and sequence of expressions have to be integrated with the qualitative impressions of the reader. A hermeneutic position would state that if Don Quixote were a non-fictional character, he may need therapeutic intervention. But his highly neurotic, ridiculous behavior makes sense for this fictive person. The individual who reads a great deal about knights, as those depicted in Don Quixote, finds himself or herself in the same position as a fictitious character in the book. This represents one of the paradoxes SCHWEIZER remarked. And—literally—there is no problem for the reader to enter the ancient world of Don Quixote; the book is still very popular today. [9]

MEDINA, FELIZ, DOMÍNGUEZ and PÉREZ gave an overview of various methods of qualitative investigation for the interpretation of the first chapter. This resulted in a meta-analysis and a short synopsis of research methodology focused on analyzing the clever knight, his personality and surroundings, as well as the impact of the book on teachers. Simultaneously, it was possible to compare autobiographical facts of CERVANTES' life with his imaginary knight Don Quixote. The analysis integrated different approaches such as semantic analysis or interviews with teachers to investigate their personal views on the didactic aspect of the text. To analyze the text from a didactic perspective, a narrative methodology seemed to be the right method, whereas the analysis of the fiction itself was best done with qualitative coding (codes, meta-codes, categories). A methodological perspective that is focused on time results in four main topics: hermeneutic, a combination of content analysis and triangle contribution (autobiography, groups of discussion, self-observation), inductive (historical recognition), deductive (present valuation) and interpretation (future projection). It was also mentioned that this book is one of the basic texts that is familiar to everyone in Spain. The book is widely used in education. MEDINA et al. demonstrated how this work can shape and enhance an understanding of Spanish culture, even at a young age. They state that an analysis of the discourse of this novel is useful for teaching because of the richness of the vocabulary. Thus, teachers play a double role in teaching the book: They explain the historical moment and they use the discourse to implement the ideas of the book into the curriculum. A presentation of MEDINA et al. later that day gave more details on the procedures of integrating the book into teaching. [10]

Discussion: Different approaches to analyzing CERVANTES' Don Quixote were presented. The range of methods presented covered the topics of qualitative-heuristic, quantitative word-counting, linguistic, voice-approach and a meta-discussion about methodology and how to approach the text. All presenters offered a different angle on the same data source to which they applied their work of analysis. However, some methods like content analysis for a detailed discussion about content, structure and sequence were missing. KLEINING used a qualitative-heuristic approach which resulted in some interesting aspects of a general Theory of Humor. The GLASER and STRAUSS (1998) approach of Grounded Theory with its sequential process of theory building and going back to the data for a re-discussion of the theory-data-structure may have enhanced this process. This combination of qualitative-heuristic testing and revising the theoretical aspects of humor theory could have enhanced the structure of the theory. On the other hand the theory would be based on more data. [11]

Other approaches not discussed were system-theoretical perspectives, communication approaches (e.g. the interaction of CERVANTES with himself, his ideas about knighthood and other beliefs) and narrative-dialogical methods. The role of metaphors and story-telling as a way of not only exploring, but also of changing personal history and actual life practice is well-known in therapy or counseling (e.g. WHITE & EPSTEIN, 2002). But the narrative approach is also a technique of doing interviews and therefore may be a research instrument to collect information which is text-based like Don Quixote. The group of MEDINA et al. named the narrative, but did not discuss the text in-depth from this methodological approach. It seemed to be that an understanding of the first chapter of Don Quixote depended on a combination of various methods. No method alone was able to cover all aspects of interpretation. To accomplish the goal of methodological integration, it would have been necessary to add another presentation which had as its sole focus a discussion of the combinatory effect of the different results that were presented. Normally, this is the work of a final discussant. In advance of the 2002 conference, it was planned to have a final discussant from the field of qualitative psychology and this was also announced in the schedule. Unfortunately, the person in question had to cancel for personal reasons shortly before the start of the conference. It was not possible to find a replacement on such short notice. As a consequence, the lack of a critical methodological discussion with the aim of presenting other alternatives and views on the investigation of CERVANTES was obvious. [12]

Additionally, as KIEGELMANN concluded, not every method can be applied. Although it may be technically possible to do it, it is not recommended, because social, historical, cultural and political backgrounds may be overlooked and consequently neglected. Concretely, it would have been helpful to gather more information on the actual context of CERVANTES' life and his social surroundings at that time which would lead to an interdisciplinary approach. Thus, the gathering of more information would shift the attention from psychology to an interdisciplinary discussion. Then, the importance of knight-hood (maybe like contemporary soap operas) would reveal much more information than is necessary to explore the multi-dimensionality of this very complex text. Several interesting questions can be raised: was "Don Quixote is crazy or not?" To answer that question, the term "craziness" has to be defined in terms of the historical time in which it was used, as norms for "craziness" interact with time and place. A proper 21st century clinical definition coming from ICD-10—The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth revision; published by WHO or the DSM-IV—Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Edition), published by the American Psychiatric Association would surely be not an adequate solution. The time of the workshop was of course only limited. The discussion and text analysis was done only on the first chapter of a very long book. Thus, it was not possible to explore what results would have accrued if the presented methods were used on the whole book. Maybe the opportunity to use a greater diversity in methods and to integrate an overall knowledge of the whole data source (e.g. the whole book of Don Quixote) can be a point to consider in the future. It seems to be likely that a different amount of information leads to different results, especially when integrating (as stated above) information about the person of CERVANTES, his individual history, and the social, political and cultural aspects of his time. Despite these facts, it can be said that the aim was achieved of showing that different qualitative and quantitative methods can be applied to the same target. But it became very clear that blind usage of methods is definitely the wrong way (as can be seen with the voice approach). Regardless if the technique can be used or not, it has to be asked in advance if the research question(s), design and framework are a match with the preferred method of analysis. [13]

3. Group Work and Individual Presentations of Qualitative Approaches

During the afternoon of the first day, work was done in three small groups and individual presentations were given. The work in small groups brought forth the opportunity to work in a more intimate atmosphere, which can be very fruitful for further discussions. Groups were organized on the basis of methodological overlaps and/or the shared backgrounds of the participants. Each group will be reviewed briefly. [14]

3.1 Group 1

BURKART described a study in which observed everyday emotions were thematized with the method of introspection. Although emotions can be externalized and observed, introspection offers the opportunity to explore the phenomenon from a subjective position. Through group discussions many possibilities for combining information from different perspectives to construct more integrated knowledge about different dimensions of emotions were proposed. [15]

HOLZWARTH presented a project called children in communication about migration (CHICAM) which was imbedded in the fields of action research and cultural studies. This is an international project funded by the 5th framework program of the European Community. It aims to analyze and enable the inter-cultural communication processes of migrant and refugee children using video, photography and the Internet. Special interest was given to the international exchange of children and how they cope with migration (see also on the Internet: http://www.chicam.net/). [16]

MEDINA, FELIZ, DOMÍNGUEZ and PÉREZ presented the complementary part of their introduction on how to apply Don Quixote in the classroom. For that, they analyzed the value of the teacher's discourse when teaching with methods coming from self-observation, shared-observation, content analysis, evocation, and narrative. The second part of the presentation broadened the discussion towards the value of a classical book in training and developing the social skills of young and adult people. To accomplish that goal, discussion group, self-analysis, observation, and remembering were used. [17]

3.2 Group 2

GAHLEITNER presented results coming from a study on sexual abuse. It was shown that the initial effects of abuse are the same for both genders (girls and boys). But due to reasons such as socialization and gender roles, long-term effects reveal differences in coping strategies that do depend on gender roles. Neither gender-role stereotype (female and male) is more effective in coping than the other, but strict adherence to one role makes the coping process much more difficult. However, a balance in using both roles in flexible ways seems to be a better strategy for coping successfully. [18]

NENTWICH also presented gender as a key role in her discussion. Her topic was the difference in opportunities in business for women and men according to implicit gender hierarchies. Methodologically, this leads to observations of what actual happens in life in reference to gender and what is part of gender. This shift in focus to the actual ongoing everyday processes of constructing and gender in daily life and work allows gender differences to be seen as ongoing products of relational processes. [19]

ULLRICH, using research methodologies and ideas from a feminist perspective, investigated the process of organizing an intentional community called l'Arche for persons with disabilities. The research emphasized the value of subjective perspectives in understanding the process of community in an individual-oriented Western society. [20]

BAPTISTA did exploratory research on the acquisition and development of language in deaf pre-linguistic children with cochlear implants. Her research attempted to reflect theoretical assumptions coming from literature. Interviews were done in half-structured ways and analyzed for content analysis. The results provided the basis to evaluate enhancing and inhibiting factors of the topic in question. [21]

3.3 Group 3

COELHO talked about subjective theories of practice, expertise and knowledge in the field of child care and education of early childhood. The available literature does not adequately cover this field. Open interviews were done and content analyzed to fill some of these gaps. This presentation was a work-in-progress and only preliminary results were presented. [22]

GÜRTLER discussed classical test theory and its limitations when it is applied to a research program of subjective theories specifically and qualitative psychology in general. Furthermore, he discussed the role of Insight meditation to introduce important criteria of quality: self-observation of mental habits, likings and dislikes that have great impact during the whole research process. The aim of meditation is to explore, understand, and alter mental models and resulting behaviors that can have negative effects on research relationships and interactions. Additionally, the logic and accuracy of the theoretical part of doing research depends on transparent and mindful reflection. [23]

LINK presented a description of computer-simulated training in medicine that is used to enhance the training and the quality of decision-making of medical students. He presented data coming from a pilot study with students and the cited simulation program. In addition to citing problems with the simulation program (e.g. translation from English into German Austrian), LINK remarked that the training software uses standardized questionnaires that give interesting insights, but are insufficient for implementing a best practice project in a specific academic context. Future work will focus on interactions between researchers and students as well as on analyzing these data with content analytical methods developed by MAYRING (2000). [24]

FIGAREDO focused on the problems of analyzing conversation and communication in hyperlink structured online forums. The task was to implement collaboration and online learning, but also to analyze the upcoming conversation in the sequence of topics. This procedure was regarded as problematic because on the Internet sequences and mailing threads are non-linear and are hyper-linked. Different threads of sequences have to be prepared to fit to the method of analysis. This was more a problem of preparation of data than a problem of the psychological methodology. [25]

4. Roundtables of Qualitative Work in Psychology

Day 2 began with a short introduction from each roundtable to give participants the opportunity to decide which of them best matched their personal needs and preferences. Once matches were made, the roundtables met. In the plenum each roundtable gave a short review of the insights that were gained by the collaborative work. Roundtables are held primarily to give opportunities for researchers to connect and establish networks. On the basis of shared ideas about future projects it quite easy to plan projects together or to visit other conferences to present research in collaboration. To give some examples, HELD (Germany) and MEDINA (Spain) applied for the 5th European Community (EC) framework and will continue in the 6th program or G.L. HUBER (Germany), SOINI (Finland), A. HUBER (Germany) and others prepared a symposium at the 2001 European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (EARLI) conference. KIEGELMANN (Germany) and BEAUBOEUF (USA) did the same at the American Psychological Association (APA) (2001) and other US conferences. [26]

MEDINA described the work of doing fund raising within the 6th framework program of the European Community. This resulted in a multi-level task between calculating, presenting theoretical background work and establishing important connections with colleagues from other EC countries. This was emphasized as of being of great importance, because improving networking between international experts became one of the main goals of the 6th EC program. [27]

GAHLEITNER, KIEGELMANN and NENTWICH continued last year's discussion on ethics. This theme was explored in more detail. Among the conclusions was the need not to drift into standardized norms of morality. [28]

HUBER and GÜRTLER collaborated on qualitative analysis of video and audio data. HUBER presented a newly developed beta version of AQUAD (http://www.aquad.de/) and explained old and new features of the program. Important suggestions came from participants who had concrete needs for new features. GÜRTLER gave additional explanations of how to get source material (analogue VHS, digital DV) into a video/audio compatible format to AQUAD 6 (.avi format). He also focused on possible problems with video compression, audio compression, format conversions and necessary equipment. He noted the opportunities to use free distributable open source software (e.g. published at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html) to accomplish all tasks. [29]

5. Resume

Looking back on the conference, a résumé has to be stated. The criteria of quality to self-evaluate a conference depend on the goals that were set in advance of the conference. These criteria act as guidelines and they are also yardsticks to give orientation on how to develop networking, how to increase the quality of contributions, and how to establish discussions about qualitative methods in the field of psychology. The following three aspects are examples of how to discuss the quality of this conference: [30]

(1) Fostering of networking, joint projects and sharing of knowledge in qualitative methods within psychology:

The implementation of networking and supporting each other in an area which is not yet part of mainstream psychology was one of the basic issues that led to the founding of the Center for Qualitative Psychology (KIEGELMANN, personal communication). The 2002 conference was the third workshop and many participants had taken part in the first and the second conferences. However, besides this base of—now—well-known colleagues, each year new researchers come, visit and provide insight into their work. But it also seems to be necessary to broaden the scope to include more international researchers with expertise in qualitative psychology. It seems to be necessary not only to support beginning researchers, but also to invite experts from other areas of psychology (e.g. therapy, counseling, clinical psychology) and from other parts of Europe and the world to join future conferences. If this does not occur the development of an inner circle of mostly the same people will meet only one another and enrich their knowledge. The task is to do networking on various levels to understand differences in society, culture, research area, practice and application of methods. This can lead to the exploration of new possibilities but also to experience the limits of qualitative approaches. The international relevance of the topic of qualitative methods is unlikely to cease in the future, and by reflecting international tendencies, for example, the guidelines of the 6th framework program of the EC, the Center could act as an experienced partner in the implementation of networks of excellence. My personal opinion is that this finding—enhancing the scope of networking—can be regarded as one of the most important aspects of future work and conferences. [31]

(2) Demonstration of different methodological approaches and their application to the same text of CERVANTES:

A detailed discussion on the text of CERVANTES can be read above (see Part 2). The final part of combining all explicated methods suffered from the unplanned absence of a knowledgeable discussant. However, many ideas were collected and an attempt will be made to develop these ideas for a closing chapter on CERVANTES that will be published in the written documentation which will follow the conference in the year 2003.2) It was also remarked that due to the short time-sequence only some selected methodological approaches were presented and two of them—HUBER's and SCHWEIZER's—also had quantitative aspects. But these two works particularly point to the main topic of the conference: the search for matching methods of analysis. Research questions and aims should not be overlooked which means that the discussion should avoid the narrowly-focused thinking of quantitative versus qualitative. The matching point seems to be the overlap, the fitting of existing research questions, social contexts and fields in which data can be collected and methods of analysis can be applied after data collection or between different phases of data collection. To summarize, the exploration of CERVANTES made clear that methods can be applied in principal, but should only be used carefully after consideration of multiple perspectives. This points to the one criterion of quality that is often cited in qualitative methodology: Triangulation with different methods, because each method in itself has some limitation but many strengths. [32]

(3) Providing researchers an opportunity to discuss their work in public and to receive constructive and useful feedback on a high qualitative level:

The last part of this résumé consists of the most subjective impressions. The goal of providing a platform for researchers to take part in a growing research community can be seen as fulfilled. Every participant was asked to write not only an abstract, but also a written version of his or her speech in advance. As a consequence, each contribution could be reviewed before the conference began. However, as stated above (see discussion about networking), I believe that future conferences need to include leading experts who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise with others. This is important to support not only beginning researchers but also to reflect on one's own experience in discussions and interactions with other experts. A practical way of strengthening the feedback for each participant could be the introduction of a discussant in each small workgroup. This would provide a better opportunity for receiving quality feedback and it would also structure the work in advance. [33]

To summarize this report note and to make some final conclusions, it can be said that the conference of the Center for Qualitative Psychology has a core group of participants who are interested in and dedicated to this work. It is critical that the importance of qualitative methodologies be conveyed the wider research community. At the same time, it is recommended to broaden the scope to all areas of psychological work, to invite experts from different research and working areas and from different countries to participate. The invitation to more experts will help to enhance the quality of contributions, feedback, and discussions that are already provided. [34]

6. Plans for the Future

The next workshop will be held in Blaubeuren, Germany, from 17-19 of October, 2003. The call for papers will be sent via mailing list and will be published on the Internet at the web site of the Center for Qualitative Psychology. No specific topic was chosen, but many different aspects emerged out the final discussion. Ideas that were named are the added value of qualitative methodology in specific research contexts, international comparisons of research studies, learning by doing research (a didactical approach) and the application of obtained results. Further topics pointed to the development of traditional techniques through the existence of the Internet and new media as well as the task of how to present qualitative studies in an appropriate manner. These fruitful ideas will shape the structure of the next conference. [35]

Appendix: Conference Schedule

Different perspectives on Cervantes' first chapter of Don Quixote

  • Gerhard Kleining: The Qualitative-Heuristic Method of Text Analysis. Cervantes' Don Quixote as an Example

  • Günter L. Huber—Quantitative Text Analysis of Cervantes' Text

  • Mechthild Kiegelmann: Illustrating the Voice Approach With the Example of Cervantes' Don Quixote

  • Harald Schweizer: Preparations for the Redemption of the World. Distribution of Words and Modalities in Ch. I of Don Quixote

  • Antonio Medina, Tiberio Feliz, Concepcíon Domínguez & Ramón Pérez: Qualitative Analysis of the First Chapter of the Quixote: An Interpretative-Formative Approach


Group 1

  • Thomas Burkart: Introspective Study of Feeling

  • Peter Holzwarth: CHICAM—Children in Communication About Migration

  • Antonio Medina, Tiberio Feliz, Concepcíon Domínguez & Ramón Pérez: The Training Value of the First Chapter of the Quixote: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teacher Discourse

  • Antonio Medina, Tiberio Feliz, Concepcíon Domínguez & Ramón Pérez: Using Primary Books of Literature in the Training and the Communication of Adults

Group 2

  • Julia Nentwich: Gender Differences as a Relational Process. Utopia or a New Approach for Change?

  • Silke-Birgitta Gahleitner: Gender-Specific Aspects of Coming to Terms with Sexual Abuse. Results of a Qualitative Study

  • Annette Ullrich: Using a Feminist Approach in Researching Disability Issues

  • Madalena Baptista: The Development of Language in Deaf Children With Cochlear Implants

Group 3

  • Leo Gürtler: Classical Test Theory Revised: A Critical Discussion From a Constructivist and Buddhist Perspective

  • Ana Coelho: Early Childhood Teachers' Practical Theories and Knowledge

  • Daniel Domínguez Figaredo: Questions about New Technologies and Qualitative Research

  • Thomas Link & Michael Schmidts: Computer Simulated Patients—Are They Real Enough to Care?


  • Günter L. Huber & Leo Gürtler: Computer Aided Analysis of Video/Audio Material With AQUAD 6 / Necessary Preparations of Video Material to be Compatible to AQUAD 6

  • Antonio Medina: Fund Raising in the EC (6th program)

  • Silke-Birgitta Gahleitner & Mechthild Kiegelmann & Julia Nentwich: Ethics (continuation of last year's discussion)


1) The Center's web site informs about the aim of the Center for Qualitative Psychology and its mission statement. The annual conferences are another important part of web publishing. All abstracts and short versions of the verbal presentations of conference participants are made available in advance prior to each conference. One section of the web-site informs readers about activities (papers, presentations, research interests) of qualitative researchers who are part of or associated with the Center for Qualitative Psychology. After each conference a written and peer reviewed documentation of the contributions is published. Information about the documentation can be downloaded (as a .pdf file) for each year in which a workshop was held. The web-site also includes the opportunity to join a mailing-list to be informed about activities of the Center, to practice networking with other qualitative researchers and to foster communication and international networking (qualitative-psychologie@mail500.uni-tuebingen.de). If you want to join the mailing list, please send an empty e-mail to: leo.guertler@uni-tuebingen.de with "subscribe CQP" in the subject line of the mail. <back>

2) Every year, the Center publishes a book at the Ingeborg Huber Verlag that includes written and peer reviewed versions of conference contributions. The series' main title is called "Qualitative Psychology Nexus" with the conference title as the subtitle. The following titles are currently available:

Kiegelmann, Mechthild (Ed.) (2001). Qualitative Psychology Nexus Vol I: Qualitative Research in Psychology. Schwangau: Ingeborg Huber Verlag.

Kiegelmann, Mechthild (Ed.) (2002). Qualitative Psychology Nexus Vol II: The role of the Researcher in Qualitative Psychology. Tübingen: Ingeborg Huber Verlag. <back>


Glaser, Barney G. & Strauss, Anselm (1998). Grounded Theory. Strategien qualitativer Forschung. Bern: Huber. (Orig. 1967, The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago: Aldine)

Huber, Günter L. (2002). Quantitative Text Analysis of Cervantes' Text. Conference paper presented at the third Workshop Qualitative Psychology, Perlora Spain). Available at: http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/qualitative-psychologie/t-ws02/paperskurz/GLH_quant-analysis.pdf.

Kiegelmann, Mechthild; Held, Josef; Huber, Günter L. & Ertel, Irmentraud (2000, June). Qualitative Psychology at the University of Tuebingen, Germany [24 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 1(2), Art. 14. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-00/2-00kiegelmannetal-e.htm.

Kiegelmann, Mechthild (2002). Layers of Voices Within the Text. The "Voice-Approach" Introduced With the Example of Cervantes' Text. Conference paper presented at the third Workshop Qualitative Psychology, Perlora (Spain). Available at: http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/qualitative-psychologie/t-ws02/paperskurz/kiegelmann.pdf.

Kleining, Gerhard (2002). The Qualitative-Heuristic Method of Text Analysis. Cervantes' Don Quixote as an Example. Conference paper presented at the third Workshop Qualitative Psychology, Perlora (Spain). Available at: http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/qualitative-psychologie/t-ws02/paperskurz/Kleining.pdf.

Mayring, Philipp (2000, June). Qualitative Content Analysis [28 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 1(2), Art. 20. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-00/2-00mayring-e.htm.

Schweizer, Harald (2002). Expressive-Syntax and Pragmatic. Conference paper presented at the third Workshop Qualitative Psychology, Perlora (Spain). Available at: http://www-ct.informatik.uni-tuebingen.de/daten/quich.pdf.

White, Michael & Epstein, David (2002). Die Zähmung der Monster. Der narrative Ansatz in der Familientherapie. Heidelberg: Carl-Auer.


Leo GÜRTLER is working as a psychologist at the Department of Educational Psychology, School for Education, University of Tübingen. He is member of the Center for Qualitative Psychology and preparing his doctoral grade (working title: Humor in educational settings). His research interests are the research program of subjective theories (German: "Forschungsprogramm Subjektive Theorien") and insight meditation of Vipassana.


Leo Gürtler

Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft
Abteilung Pädagogische Psychologie Universität Tübingen
Münzgasse 22-30
72070 Tübingen, Germany

E-mail: leo.guertler@uni-tuebingen.de


Gürtler, Leo (2003). Conference Note: Third Workshop "Qualitative Psychology: Research Questions and Matching Methods of Analysis" [34 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(1), Art. 24, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0301244.

Copyright (c) 2003 Leo Gürtler

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