The Future of Qualitative Research in Psychology—A Students’ Perspective

Thomas Terkildsen*, Sofie Petersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The aim of this article is to explore the future of qualitative research as seen from a students’ perspective. This exploration will initially be incited through a discussion of the use of the term ‘qualitative research’, and the risks associated with the use of such an umbrella term. It is discussed that the use of an overarching umbrella term can lead to an overhomogenized understanding of qualitative research, that fails to represent the diversity and variety of methodological and epistemological approaches that exist within this research paradigm. It is also discussed that this overhomogenization reinforces the idea of qualitative research as an anti-doctrine to quantitative research, which is argued to discourage interparadigmatic integration. Lastly, it is considered how these (mis)conceptions of qualitative research influence how psychology students are taught about research methodology and how this education could affect these (mis)conceptions. We advocate that the future for qualitative research in psychology should be ensured through a restructure and a refocus on an educational level. This change should overall be centered around teaching students how to be reflective research practitioners based on an in-depth understanding of the variety of epistemologies within both meta-research-paradigms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)202-206
Publication statusPublished - 1. May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Epistemology
  • Interparadigmatic integration
  • Qualitative research
  • Research flexibility


Dive into the research topics of 'The Future of Qualitative Research in Psychology—A Students’ Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this