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Doing reflexivity in psychological research – What’s the point? What’s the practice?

Lazard, Lisa and McAvoy, Jean (2018). Doing reflexivity in psychological research – What’s the point? What’s the practice? Qualitative Research in Psychology (Early Access).

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Reflexivity is a fundamental expectation of qualitative work in psychology (and the wider social sciences) but what it looks like and how we do it, is frequently ambiguous and implicit. This makes doing reflexivity a challenging endeavour, particularly for those new to using qualitative methodologies. This paper explores reflexivity as a form of critical thinking and evaluation. It does so by demarcating reflexive activity in relation to other forms of critical thinking used in psychology. Using notions of perspectival location, we shed some practical light on the objectives and processes of reflexivity, from its significance in the identification of a research topic, through designing, conducting, and writing up the research report. The overarching question, “what is the point of reflexivity?”, is answered through an interrogation of common assumptions around producing ‘good’ research in psychology as well as through a series of key questions illuminating different steps in the research process. We conclude that reflexivity requires the unpacking of partial, positioned and affective perspectives we bring to the research. This process facilitates our questioning and moves us beyond our own taken-for-granted assumptions and sense-making of the social world.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1478-0895
Keywords: reflexivity; qualitative research; psychology; methodology; perspectival location; critical thinking; Socratic method
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology and Counselling > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology and Counselling
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 51697
Depositing User: Lisa Lazard
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2017 09:46
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2019 10:24
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