You are here

Qualitative Psychology

Qualitative Psychology
A Practical Guide to Research Methods

Third Edition
Edited by:

April 2015 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Undertaking qualitative research in psychology can seem like a daunting and complex process, especially when it comes to selecting the most appropriate approach for your project or assignment. This book, written and edited by a world-leading group of academics and researchers, offers an accessible, critical and practical way into qualitative research in psychology. Each chapter provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to using a qualitative research method – from Conversation Analysis or Focus Groups to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis or Narrative Psychology. Whatever approach you choose to take, this book will ensure you get it right from the start.   


New to this Third Edition:

  • A chapter on Thematic Analysis 
  • A  section on how to choose and select the most appropriate method for your project


Jonathan A. Smith
1. Introduction
Peter Ashworth
2. Conceptual foundations of qualitative psychology
Jonathan A. Smith and Mike Osborn
3. Interpretative phenomenological analysis
Kathy Charmaz
4. Grounded theory
Michael Murray
5. Narrative psychology
Paul Drew
6. Conversation analysis
Carla Willig
7. Discourse analysis
Sarah Riley and Peter Reason
8. Cooperative inquiry: an action research practice
Sue Wilkinson
9. Focus groups
Victoria Clark, Virginia Braun, Nikki Hayfield
10. Thematic analysis
Michael Larkin
11. Choosing your approach
Lucy Yardley
12. Demonstrating validity in qualitative psychology

Broad coverage of methods, written in an accessible way.

Miss Anna Trejnowska
Psychology & Sociology, Queen Margaret University
December 14, 2017

This is a core text for graduate students wishing to use qualitative methodology for their research studies on the programme.

Dr Ian Fletcher
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Lancaster University
December 4, 2017

A really helpful text for students undertaking qualitative research.

Mrs Issy Hallam
Psychology, South Devon College
May 6, 2017

excellent and useful book

Mrs Suzanne Everett
Nursing and Midwifery, Middlesex University
November 18, 2016

We need a range of books which cover qualitative methodologies and can cross the psychology and counselling borders as we are a combined department with students in psychology and counselling carrying out qualitative dissertations.

Mrs Tara Dawn Morrey
Department of Psychology, Newman University
July 12, 2016

Good for students who do not have a strong statistical or social science background.
Written in an accessible style which appeals to the students.
Good for background reading when designing a small scale project.

Professor Yvonne Millman
School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University
July 1, 2016

One of my favourite readings: crystal clear language and simple structure. I appreciate that there is a chapter dedicated to Thematic Analysis, which is not common. This was a good support for undergraduates, as well as postgraduates. A good and easy insight into qualitative research for quantitative-trained colleagues.

Dr Anna Zoli
Health and Life Sciences, York St John University
June 14, 2016

Comprehensive and useful for both MSc and Doctoral students

Dr sally anstey
Nursing, Cardiff University
June 7, 2016

We did not adopt the book this year as it was impossible to implement it in the time that was left (books have to be indicated almost a year in advance). I am strongly considering adopting the book next year however. It provides a very clear and accessible outline for students and is pleasant to read. It covers most (although not all) of the topics in the course and therefore we consider using it as essential course material

Professor Reitske Meganck
Psychology , University of Ghent
April 6, 2016

Very good overview of main methodologies and a useful inclusion regarding thematic analysis

Ms Rhiannon Jones
Social Work, Keele University
March 4, 2016

- A new chapter on thematic analysis by two leaders in the field, Victoria Clark and Virginia Braun, and their colleague Nikki Hayfield.
- An additional chapter towards the end of the book ‘Choosing your approach’ by Michael Larkin, which helps the reader (after learning about the different approaches) decide how to choose the right one for a research project they are about to embark on.
- The book now has a consistent set of subheadings in each chapter.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Qualitative Psychology: Grounded Theory