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Latest Activity: Mar 17

Discussion Forum

How ‘Good Work’ Hurts Political Science

Started by William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. Feb 3.

Theory Problems in Axiological Political Science

Started by William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. Jul 3, 2014.

Formal Axiology and the Pragmatic Turn in Political Science

Started by William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. Jan 24, 2014.

Let's Talk About Prevention: Putting Knowledge into Practice

Started by Priscilla G. Wilson Jan 10, 2014.


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Comment by Cathy Evans on November 24, 2014 at 17:34

Stories of African American Graduates of Online Doctoral Programs Needed!


Cathy Evans, a doctoral student at Walden University, is conducting a study.  African American doctorate recipients who attained a doctorate from online doctoral psychology programs at Title IV privately operated for-profit, online institutions that practice open admission (FPCUs), within the past five years, are needed to share their experiences and knowledge of completing an online doctoral psychology program at an FPCU.  The study seeks to explore the academic achievement of African American students who completed online doctoral programs and attained a doctorate in psychology at Capella University, Walden University, the University of Phoenix, or the University of the Rockies.


Invest a little time from your schedule by contributing your knowledge to an emerging body of knowledge.


To participate, you must be (a) African American and (b) must have attained a doctorate in psychology from an FPCU within the past 5 years.  The time, involved, will consist of the following:

  • One nonpaid 60- to 90-minute in-depth interview: face-to-face, live chat, Skype, OR  telephone, and
  • The time you spend reviewing, your interview summary. 


For more information, please contact Cathy Evans at

Comment by Paul THERON on June 30, 2014 at 22:00

Good evening. I'm just joining and looking forward to exchange views with you, especially about hybrid / mixed research methods.

Maybe the best thing to introduce my research method, PhenoCognitive Analysis, and to get feedback and comments from you is to give you a link to a little web site where I expose my research :

In short :

  • PhenoCognitive Analysis (PCA) was developed for the study of Lieutenant A’s case, a firefighter’s cognitive experience of trauma in action to elicit and analyse his cognitive ontology and trajectories and the dynamics of Decision-Making-in-Action (DMA) and peritraumatic resilience (PTR).
  • It was originally founded upon two methodological streams : Psychophenomenology and the (EI) Elicitation Interview (Vermersch, 2006) and Phenomenography (Marbach, 1993).
  • It allows to perform a formal study of the subject’s cognitive experience by combining :
    • a qualitative data collection method, the EI, that guides the subject to recall elements from his episodic memory of a given episode of experience and yields a first-person narrative,
    • and a quantitative data processing and analysis method, based upon a semantic analysis of the first-person narrative to elicit cognitive operations, their ontology, cognitive trajectories that can be statistically characterised, and analysed through Bayesian networks, exploratory factor analysis and classification algorithms.
    • It was supported by the development of a relational database, the Phenomenographic Database, allowing traceability and data processing and analyses.
    • It yielded a number of formal cognitive models of Lieutenant A’s experience of a critical incident (macrocognitive, microcognitive, social-cognitive) and to characterize peritraumatic resilience.

Comment by Clive Sims on May 5, 2014 at 10:58

Hi Al, I agree with your rant about the obligatory tacked on class on qualitative methods. Not having the knowledge & skills to feel at ease with both quantitative & qualitative methods severely limits research options in the 'real world'. Just as one example research into organizations would miss an awful lot without employ mixed methodology.

Comment by Al Patenaude on May 4, 2014 at 15:39

I'd like to add a couple of comments about what appears to be the description of qualitative methods using the rhetoric of quantitative research. In doing so I hope to address Medhi and Clive's recent comments in that order. Please excuse any rants on my part...

While I agree that quantitative studies are theory-driven, to describe all qualitative approaches as data-driven or, worse still, in terms of grounded theory analysis does a disservice to ourselves and our students. I would ask people to harken back to the days of Walter Wallace's The Logic of Science in Sociology (1971) and look at qualitative as theory building rather than merely data-driven which presents the impression of qualitative methodology being atheoretical while quantitative approaches are scientific since they test and or verify (validate?) a theory.

As qualitative methodologists, we typically use theory to either craft the questions that we ask our participants and/or in analyzing the responses they provide us. This is based on both the empirical and theoretical literatures rather than a simple subjective analysis.

In terms of the two theses mentioned, I would agree that the students would be better served to describe their approaches as theory driven analyses of the data. Without harping on the strengths of Jennifer Atride-Stirling's (2001 work:

Attride-Stirling, J. (2001). Thematic networks - an analytic tool for qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 1(3): 385-405.

she provides a much simpler method of of both data gathering and analysis than grounded theory with the ability to provide wider resonance of the finding rather than a localized application of 'small t' theory.

As for the 'mixed' methods approach, I can't comment here without seeing exactly how these students described their respective approaches. I agree with Clive that if the students are mixing two background drive theories they need to acknowledge it in their analyses.

However, I'm getting frustrated with my quantitative colleagues both here and abroad who teach research methods with the obligatory one class on qualitative methods and have created the impressions among students that including an open-ended question in a survey questionnaire creates a mixed methods study!!!! A mixed methods approach is effectively two methods applied sequentially within the same study; such a study might employ a survey questionnaire (to determine the extent of the phenomena) followed by a semi-structured interviews (to discover the deeper meaning of it or the perceptions of participants) that were informed by the results of the former or vice versa.

Let's see... push the 'end rant' button next to the 'any key' button on the keyboard and send!

Comment by Clive Sims on May 4, 2014 at 10:50

I know 'mixed' usually means combining quantitative & qualitative approaches but if we take a step back is this not another variation on 'mixed'. Here I am thinking that classically quantitative is theory driven & qualitative is data driven but are not your PhD candidates mixing the two background drive theories. As long as it is acknowledged I see no problem with it .

Comment by Mehdi Riazi on May 4, 2014 at 1:34

Role of theory in research

I was wondering what list members' experiences are when they need to deal with the "role of theory in research" in practice, for example in phd theses.

Classically, we apt to recognize the dichotomy of "data-driven" vs. "theory-driven"; with "data-driven" following a "grounded-theory" approach and with the mission of building theory; while the former following a "verification" approach. The two approaches have also been represented with "qualitative" vs. "quantitative" methods.  

I've been reading two theses whose authors have claimed using a grounded-theory approach, but with heavy reliance on theory from the very beginning. They have indeed collected qualitative data and have followed the qualitative procedures of coding the data and analyzing the data. However, it seems to me, they have relied on the current theories in developing their coding schemes and making sense of their data. I've been thinking rather than labeling the studies as "grounded theory", perhaps they'd be better to frame them as "theory-driven" with the purpose of whether their data talk to the theories they're relying on or not even though they're using qualitative data.

What folks think?  

Comment by Dr Mike Lambert on April 25, 2014 at 5:36

‘Presenting Your Research’, by Lucinda Becker.  Review:

Comment by Yohannes Temesgen Ayehunie on April 3, 2014 at 21:43

just I registered  as a member and hops every things will have its own value for all of us!!!!!!

Comment by ESWARAPPA KASI on February 20, 2014 at 7:23

I am happy to be part of SRM group.

Comment by Tony Greene on July 15, 2013 at 18:41

Thank you, Marie.  And thank you for the suggestion.  I have added it to the Web Resources page on SRM.


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