Culture and Organizationational Behaviour (Sage Texts)
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It provided ample opportunity for the researchers to investigate the formation and functioning of informal social groups. Specifically, each step in their research addressed the shortcomings of the previous methodology. They started with observations and informal nonrandomized interviews, which then led to the development of a standardized survey that was administered to participants.
Sociometric analyses of these data revealed the patterns of interaction between individuals in the two housing estates. The data allowed the investigators to identify the paths along which communication occurred between group members. Moreover, it made it possible to comprehend the genesis and spread of group norms and attitudes. Finally, the researchers used insights from their previous research to develop a field experiment to test hypotheses derived from this primarily qualitative work.
The researchers planted rumors concerning media publicity of the new M. In this way, quantifiable field experiment data were collected in meaningful ways that were developed from previous qualitative work. A second demonstrative example of the generative process comes from our work using qualitative inquiry in an exploratory phase and then as a basis for quantified analyses Tennant, Tennant conducted a mixed-methods study of the morality of evangelicals and atheists in the United States.
He began this research by immersing himself in salient media sources to construct a general sense of what each community was actively engaging with and what issues were of importance to them. Analysis of these sources revealed that both groups placed great importance on moral concerns in society and how these groups related to proscriptive moral claims and public policy.
These materials, in conjunction with theological texts on morality and atheist moral texts, served as a foundational body of data for a mixed-methods study see Harris, ; Plantinga, These analyses led to the hypothesis that evangelical morality was primarily based on concerns about sin and divine design rather than harm. This finding contrasted with canonical psychological literature emphasizing harm as a universal or essential component of morality e. The resulting study consisted of structured interviews and a quantitative survey of demographics and behavioral self-reports.
The analysis compared Christian and atheist participants on their moral judgment and justifications Tennant, The interview questions were based on the body of data gathered by the initial qualitative research, citing examples of moral writings and opinions from various cultural leaders and news events. Using quantified interview data, qualitative codes, and compared counts of justification types, the study demonstrated that evangelicals employ nonharm morality frequently, even with regard to secular moral dilemmas. The study also found that even in the case of similar moral justifications, the actual content of the justifications varied widely.
The generative power of qualitative observations, synthesized with quantitative demographic controls and the quantitative coding of interview data, sheds light on two patterns of moral reasoning that were often conflated in the moral reasoning literature. The study is also an example of the ways in which quantification of qualitative data can describe social psychological phenomena. Next, we outline our last area of emphasis, experiential, before discussing some implications of our SAGE model. Augmentative and generative capabilities address the ways in which qualitative and quantitative methods can complement each other to provide validity and depth or to investigate a new phenomenon.
As a third process in our synthetic model, qualitative methods offer a unique approach to study experiential phenomena that cannot be holistically understood by quantifying data obtained from investigating the subjective world of qualia. That is, these methods have a unique utility and efficiency in studying complex and dynamic lived experiences that can offer greater description than experiments or through quantification of qualitative data.
Qualitative methods allow the researcher to explore what is unique to the lived experiences of individuals and groups and explain these psychological phenomena as emerging from thoughts, feelings, and actions of embodied and culturally embedded human agents. Furthermore, experiential phenomena are not simply identified and explained but arise from synthesizing different accounts and perspectives over time through a variety of ethnographic methods.
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The researcher must establish that a phenomenon exists, study the conditions in which it occurs, and understand the various interpretations and meanings that individuals have of it. This experiential capability is demonstrated by the classic study of a small religious group after a predicted apocalypse did not occur Festinger, The researchers examined the lived experience of group members by becoming part of the sect. The methods involved participant and ethnographic observation. The research demonstrated that the dissonance of an unfulfilled prophecy did not destroy the belief systems of the group members.
The researchers detailed how instead of rejecting the overall religious sect or altering their fundamental beliefs, these believers experienced the event by adapting their understanding of the underlying claim. Whereas this historical example drew heavily on observational techniques, the flexibility of qualitative research methods provides an array of tools and approaches to explain experiential phenomena. In addition to interviews and ethnographic work, discourse analysis, narrative approaches, and textual deconstruction can provide important modes of understanding how experience is framed or understood.
A rich literature details these approaches and their purposes e. Potter and Wetherell , for instance, argued that these qualitative inquiry methods can serve to illuminate how interpretation of social texts both oral and written provides insights into social categories, shared beliefs, causal processes, and historic events. The human experience is a complex one, and social psychologists are challenged to understand and capture specific perspectives and ways of understanding the world of qualia. Qualitative methods can help researchers investigate how individuals and groups view, construct, and understand their worlds.
For social psychological research, these methods offer unique advantages by providing flexibility and lenses derived from experiences and viewpoints of the participants themselves, rather than solely relying on preestablished categories, abstracted variables, and other criteria imposed by the researcher in advance. In this way, qualitative methods offer valuable approaches to augment quantitative findings, to generate experimental hypotheses, and to explain lived experiences. In this article, we introduce the acronym SAGE as a broad, novel, and integrative framework for social psychological researchers to think through the uses of diverse methods in contemporary social psychological research.
This contextualization helps counteract a general contemporary trend toward prizing quantitative methods of inquiry at the expense of qualitative or mixed-methods investigations of psychological concepts and issues. We outlined this trend in our introduction by highlighting the lack of purely qualitative and mixed-methods articles using qualitative research in the premier psychological journals. This movement has been propelled by the tensions introduced into psychology by attempts to integrate cultural frameworks and studies e. Although quantitative and qualitative are different on an ontological level, we strongly believe that the prevalent contemporary conceptualization of these methods as being in opposition is misguided and negatively affects the development of social psychological science.
Both forms of procedural inquiry can inform one another. Mixed methods can be used to overcome the limitations of one approach, from one angle, at one level of analysis. Qualitative methods can be augmentative to quantitative ones by moving beyond drawing inferences from survey and experimental data to capturing the meaning underlying statistical outputs.
Qualitative methods can also be generative of new experimental hypotheses that can then be tested in laboratories, with quantitative data sets, and in the field. Finally, qualitative methods can be used to investigate and document experiential phenomena as lived, constructed, and comprehended by people in their unique sociocultural contexts.
The augmentative, generative, and experiential aspects of the methodologies discussed in this article can be synthesized together so that qualitative and quantitative methods can be used to explore psychological phenomena in a progressive loop. This would be a wise, or SAGE, model of social psychological research.
We do not believe that our framework is exhaustive, nor do we believe that all research in social psychology should use mixed methods. We simply aim to highlight some benefits from using mixed methods and provide a framework to guide research in this tradition. The advantages of our approach are to overcome the shortcomings of each social psychological method when used in isolation. However, conducting multimethod analyses may incur several drawbacks and multiple challenges: Multimethod research is more time consuming, requires further methodological expertise, and may struggle to find a home in journals that solely accept quantitative or qualitative methods Yoshikawa et al.
Being methodically fluid also requires time, practice, and broad expertise to master diverse procedural techniques and the integration of possibly contradictory findings from multiple angles at different levels of analysis. We argue that it can be beneficial to master these challenges and provide a framework to help scholars think through some relevant issues.
We offer examples based on our own empirical research to show the ways in which we have employed the SAGE model. In turn, this has the potential for social psychology to inform policy creation and development. The next generation of nudge research needs to investigate why some cultural groups, and not others, can be nudged toward more prosocial activities. An application of the SAGE model of research can help explain cultural or group variance in relation to prosocial activities of interest within nudge projects.
By extension, a serious application of our model would have potential implications for many prevalent issues in the 21st century: the support of more ethical and culturally plural societies, fairer and more equal distribution of economic resources, and changed behaviors to reverse the events of global climate change. Throughout its history, psychology has been met with, and overcome, many crises.
The latest one in this series revolves around the replication crisis: the failure to reproduce statistically significant experimental findings when the same design is again used with different people Open Science Collaboration, We have two thoughts on this issue. First, the replication crisis is borne out of a narrow view of social psychological research, one that is focused exclusively on manipulating variables and prioritizes quantifying outcomes to comprehend human thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Second, the SAGE model can help address this by supporting richer comprehension of social psychological phenomena. It provides a more holistic approach—focused on meaning-making processes and contextual understandings—of the participants and contexts in these experiments. Many issues can cause nonreplication, but we suggest that one possible reason that experiments may not replicate is a lack of acknowledgment of the different social, economic, cultural, and historical contexts in which experiments take place.
Our model offers a broad framework to think through using qualitative and quantitative methods in conjunction to design experiments that are more sensitive to the norms of different research populations and contexts. In this way, our methodological model can help address the replication crisis by broadening understanding of social psychological research and how different methods can be integrated to create more ecologically valid, in-depth, and nuanced research findings and theory.
A recent salient critique of psychology has been the focus on undergraduate students from U. Whereas this has been an issue in both qualitative and quantitative work, using the SAGE model can help overcome this limitation. The synthetic model of research, in which quantitative and qualitative methods are combined in various ways, has the potential to move away from solely sampling from this narrow and homogeneous slice of humanity. This is because ethnographic methods, including participant observation and interviewing, allow—and even necessitate—an awareness of the worldviews and meaning making of more diverse participants.
When employed as part of a synthetic research process, these methods can bring greater attention to the particular time, place, cultural lenses, and perspectives of participants, which in turn may highlight the need for greater diversity. Experiments with undergraduates sampled from universities have value, but its use in psychological research is disproportionate to a more expansive methodological repertoire. This can be remedied not simply through qualitative methods but, specifically, by thinking through the SAGE model while conducting social psychological research. Although there are deep-seated ontological reasons for a separation in qualitative and quantitative methods, these divisions should not manifest on a practical level.
We have returned to the past and drawn on contemporary research to present a framework for thinking through methodological issues in advancing social psychological knowledge. Our SAGE model offers a new conceptualization of how researchers can employ these techniques in social psychological research. A SAGE approach to data collection and interpretation can aid social psychological investigations and help overcome limitations of single methods and related challenges. The hope is to try to realize the holism in social psychology that Wilhelm Wundt envisioned.
The manuscript was greatly improved by sage comments from the Associate Editor, Brad Bushman; by a nonanonymous review by Paul Rozin; and by the hard work of three anonymous reviewers. Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author s declared that there were no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship or the publication of this article. Funding: S. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Perspect Psychol Sci. Published online Jan Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
Keywords: SAGE model, qualitative methods, quantitative methods, history of psychology, social psychology. Qualia and Quanta: Mixed Methods in Practice Quantitative methods place emphasis on sampling, comparing, counting, calculating, and then abstracting. A Synthetic Approach to Research Practice Our article presents a novel way of overcoming this philosophical problem on a practical level. Remembering Visions for the Future: The History of Social Psychological Research Many researchers have written extensively about the history of qualitative methods in psychology see Gergen et al.
The SAGE Model of Social Psychological Research Although using different terms and under different frameworks, the augmentative, generative, and experiential potential of research can be argued to already be used in some form in classic social psychological research e. Open in a separate window. Augmentative One function of qualitative methods is to deepen our understanding of findings generated by quantitative procedures, both experimentally and in survey items.
Generative A fruitful combination of psychological methods is the use of qualitative methods to create experimental hypotheses or survey instruments. Experiential Augmentative and generative capabilities address the ways in which qualitative and quantitative methods can complement each other to provide validity and depth or to investigate a new phenomenon. Implications In this article, we introduce the acronym SAGE as a broad, novel, and integrative framework for social psychological researchers to think through the uses of diverse methods in contemporary social psychological research. Conclusion Although there are deep-seated ontological reasons for a separation in qualitative and quantitative methods, these divisions should not manifest on a practical level.
Footnotes Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author s declared that there were no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship or the publication of this article. References Adorno T. The authoritarian personality. New York, NY: Harper. Arnett J. American Psychologist , 63 , — Asch S. Social psychology. Original work published [ Google Scholar ]. Bruner J. Acts of meaning. Bryman A. Integrating quantitative and qualitative research: How is it done?
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