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Constructivist Approaches and Research Methods
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Constructivist Approaches and Research Methods
A Practical Guide to Exploring Personal Meanings



September 2016 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book provides a comprehensive overview of personal construct psychology (PCP) that will help researchers understand the why's, what's and how's of conducting a rigorous constructivist research project.

From the theoretical underpinnings of constructivist approaches to the practical values of these techniques, these three expert authors explain how to conduct interpretative, constructivist research from inception to completion. Key topics include:

  • Understanding research philosophies and paradigms
  • Constructing and exploring personal realities
  • Establishing effective research procedures
  • Evaluating grids, mapping, narrative and other research methods
  • Managing the practicalities of fieldwork
  • Analysing and presenting data

With activities and procedural examples from a wide range of disciplines woven throughout the text and two special chapters featuring in-depth case studies from a variety of constructivist researchers, this book helps readers grasp the tools, designs, and opportunities of interpretative research.

An essential companion for both researchers and practitioners looking to understand people’s values, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, or motivations!   

 
Part I: Making decisions based on philosophy, theory and project purpose
 
Chapter 1: Introduction and orientation to constructivist research
 
Chapter 2: Understanding the nature of constructivist approaches
 
Chapter 3: Linking philosophy and theory to research purpose
 
Chapter 4: Constructing personal realities
 
Part II: Practicalities of Engaging in Constructivist Research
 
Chapter 5: Exploring personal realities
 
Chapter 6: Setting the climate for effective research encounters
 
Chapter 7: An evaluation of a range of potential research techniques
 
Chapter 8: An evaluation of a range of potential research designs
 
Chapter 9: Realities and practicalities in managing fieldwork
 
Chapter 10: Data analysis, meaning interpretation and management/presentation issues
 
Part III: How others have used PCP – sample research cases
 
Chapter 11: Cases using different designs
 
Chapter 12: Constructive alternatives, psychic mirrors and narrative turns: reflections on a lifetime as a personal construct researcher

This book is a welcome guide to an empirically grounded understanding of the constructivist approach. With its focus on research practice in a multitude of fields, it is of great value both for the budding researcher and the seasoned professional. 

Jörn Scheer
Emeritus Professor of Medical Psychology at the University of Giessen

An excellent overview of the issues facing the constructivist researcher. Graduate students will value its helpful handling of the paradigm debate, while the newcomer to constructivist research will receive a solid grounding in constructivist methods that goes beyond the basic grid interview technique.

Devi Jankowicz
Professor of Constructivist Managerial Psychology, Heriot Watt University

This book illustrates a perfect connection, through the personal constructs theory, between an epistemological perspective, constructivism, and its possible methods. It is a useful and complete guide for researchers who are interested in exploring both how people construe their world and their personal perspectives as researchers themselves.

Massimo Giliberto
Director, Institute of Constructivist Psychology

Theoretically rich and provocative of deep reflection in the field to which it is primarily addressed, but equally in any field of enquiry and practice where one works with human beings to enhance their optimal functioning.  Yet, eminently practical and with ‘Activities’ that cannot but challenge habitual modes of meaning-making.

Bill Warren
Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Newcastle. Australia

Pam Denicolo

Professor (Emeritus) Pam Denicolo, a chartered psychologist, has just retired from her fulltime role at the University of Reading where she developed the Graduate School system and the post-registration professional practice and research element of the School of Pharmacy. Her passion for supporting and developing graduate students is demonstrated through her contributions as Vice Chair to the UK Council for Graduate Education Executive Committee, as chair of the Society for Research into Higher Education  Postgraduate Network and Executive Editor of the Guides for Supervisors Series.  She was a key contributor to Vitae’s... More About Author

Trevor Long

Trevor Long has just completed a part-time PhD in Applied Psychology at the University of Reading, United Kingdom. He is an Independent Educator and consultant in organisational strategy, leadership and change. He has worked over many years with business schools, including Henley, Warwick, Duke and Cambridge, on MBA and Executive Education programmes, in the United Kingdom, other European countries and further afield, including South Africa, the United States, Caribbean, Middle East and New Zealand. Consultancy projects have included strategic direction, leadership development, change programmes and coaching activities... More About Author

Kim Bradley-Cole

Kim Bradley-Cole is a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She has a PhD in Leadership and Organisational Behaviour from University of Reading, and an MSc in Occupational and Organisational Psychology from University of Surrey.  Kim retrained as a psychologist after a successful career in FMCG marketing and innovations, working on developing some of Britain’s best loved brands, including Heinz, Bisto, Mr Kipling and Twinings. She has held marketing and HR roles in large organisations, as well as working agency side in market research and as a freelance work psychologist and coach. She... More About Author

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