Personal construct psychology methods for qualitative research

Viv Burr, Nigel King, Trevor Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Personal construct psychology (PCP) has always been better known for its methods than its theory, but many researchers are not aware of the range of qualitative methods offered by a PCP approach. We argue that PCP methods have been overlooked as tools for the qualitative researcher and that they satisfy some key requirements of much qualitative research, such as the capacity to provide in-depth insight into personal experience, to establish a 'democratic' relationship between researcher and participants and to represent the participant's 'voice'. We illustrate several of these methods, drawing on research examples. We show how they enable participants to articulate their experience, and how they may be used as part of an in-depth interview. We conclude that Personal Construct methods provide opportunities for qualitative researchers to create innovative ways of researching personal experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-355
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology: Theory and Practice
Issue number4
Early online date9 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


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