Thursday, October 11, 2007

GT in Psychology

Today morning I delivered a speech in a meeting held by the Iranian Psychology Association. My speech was about the implications and implementations of Grounded Theory (GT) in social science research. Almost all of the participants in the meeting were academic staff and postgraduate students form different psychology departments. I firstly introduced GT and briefly mentioned its history. Then I illustrated the meaning of GT as an inductive and exploratory approach in research and its values as a systematic research methodology to explore little understood phenomena. I also explained my own experience of using GT in my PhD research and what I have learned by implementation of this methodology. Moreover, I referred to the possible ways which enable researchers to enhance the credibility of their findings based on GT method. The participants' comments on my presentation were very useful for me to hear the ideas of a number of researchers who mainly came from quantitative camp. This is always enlightening to look at something from the others' perspective and I had this chance today to look at GT from the perspectives of quantitative-oriented researchers. Although, after four years of reading, writing and using GT I believe this is a powerful methodology which enables us to conduct exploratory research, I would never underestimate the value of quantitative approaches in conducting vigorous studies. I believe we need a combination of inductive and deductive approaches in one hand and also a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to reach credible results.