Culturally Appropriate Research Methods

Assignment: Culturally Appropriate Research Methods

In order to understand research methods that are suitable for global psychology, it is important to state what is meant by “global psychology.” Marsella (1998) refers to global psychology as “concerned with understanding, assessing, and addressing, the individual and collective psychological consequences of global events and forces by encouraging and using multicultural, multidisciplinary, multisectoral, and multinational knowledge, methods, and interventions” (p. 1284).

Culturally sensitive research methods employed by psychologists with a global perspective usually are qualitative, while Western psychologists often employ quantitative approaches. Quantitative approaches emphasize cause and effect and reflect a traditional scientific method. Quantitative methods also are objective and value statistical analyses. Qualitative methods allow more subjectivity and often involve observation and interviews that are harder to quantify. Recently, many Western psychologists have increased their acceptance of qualitative methods or blending quantitative and qualitative methods (mixed methods). However, even in the realm of qualitative methods, psychologists have identified some methods that are more appropriate than others in satisfying the needs of their discipline. Your course text explains four specific, culturally appropriate research methods: action theory, discourse analysis, grounded theory, and focus groups.

Despite global psychology’s preference for culturally appropriate qualitative methods, most peer review committees of professional journals publish studies that use traditional quantitative methods. Thus, psychologists who work internationally or globally continue to encourage researchers to apply culturally appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review Chapter 7 in your course text.
  • Think about culturally appropriate research methods, such as action theory, discourse analysis, grounded theory, and focus groups.
  • Use the link provided in this week’s learning resources to review several past issues of theInternational Psychology Bulletin.
  • Within the past issue of your choice, select one peer-reviewed article which is of interest to you that does not use action theory, discourse analysis, grounded theory, or focus groups.
  • Think about whether the research used in the article is quantitative or qualitative.
  • Consider how you might use action theory, discourse analysis, grounded theory, or focus groups to conduct a study about this same topic.
  • Think about why the research method you selected could benefit a study of this topic.

The Assignment (3–4 pages):

  • Summarize the study in the research article you selected, including a description of the type of research method that was used.
  • Is the study qualitative or quantitative? Discuss how you know.
  • Pick two culturally appropriate research methods (action theory, discourse analysis, grounded theory, or focus groups) and explain how you could apply each method to conduct a study about the same topic described in the research article you selected.
  • Explain why the research methods you selected could benefit a study about this topic and describe how they compare to the type of research methods originally used.

Course Text: Stevens, M. J., &Gielen, U. P. (2007). Toward a glob al psychology: Theory, research, intervention, and pedagogy. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Chapter 6, “Toward a Conceptual Foundation for a Global Psychology”
  • Chapter 7, “Qualitative Research Methods for a Global Psychology”