The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Latest additions to the AQR Library

The mind games of M&As
In an era of uncertainty, it can be helpful to know just how agency mergers and buy outs are shaping our industry and what you, as an individual, can do to survive or thrive.
Start with strength
It's all too easy, when trying to solve a problem, to focus on the negatives rather than positives. Here, our author argues that we are ignoring an important agent for change.
Power of difference
"You've packed a lot into one arm, haven't you? My life would only cover the top half"
The death of the middle ground?
In an era of polarisation brands face a unifying challenge
The case for being there
Presence in research practice can have hidden benefits
Stopping fare evaders in their tracks
Many factors combine to prompt fare evasion in Australia. The challenge for this AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award finalist was how to change this behaviour.
Triggers of a mobile revolution
What makes people, women specifically, adopt mobile internet? AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award finalist Charlotte Smith set out to find the answer.
Why show off when you can signal?
Signalling theory is more generally associated with the animal kingdom, but Peter Totman shows how it can help us understand people, brands, and ourselves.
You don't have any hidden depths
You don't have any hidden depths. Sorry about that. This is just one of the radical implications of Professor Nick Chater's work, captured in his latest book, "The Mind Is Flat". So what does this mean for qual?
From revelation to revolution
In this article, Sarah De Caux, one of the AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award Finalists, outlines how mapping the micro challenged a whole industry to think again.
Choose your words carefully
If there is one profession which might claim to run along similar lines to qual, it is journalism. But has the rise of"Fake News" and increasing reliance on data changed this?
Stopping people giving and not taking
The winner of the AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award 2018 delves into why buyers of The Big Issue had lost touch with its original mission.
Selfhood: simple business sense
What will it take to change the mindset of those who create fashion and advertising images of women
Are you looking at me?
'Who are you?' is a complex question. Cultural influences in the formation of self
Time to shake up a sense of self
"Come on tell me, who are you? Who, who, who, who?" (The Who, Who are you?)
Five reasons why qual is here to stay
Oxford University researchers have calculated the chance of jobs being automated. Bitter irony for unprotected insurance underwriters or watch repairers who find their time is up: both face a 99% likelihood of being replaced, along with data entry keyers and telemarketers. 'Market research analysts and marketing specialists' come in at an unhealthy 61%.
Time to help moderators
Literature on participant honesty often focuses on linguistic analysis and the psychology of questioning, placing the burden on moderators. But is it time for a more collaborative approach?
A year of independence
There comes a time in every researcher's life when they question what direction their career should take. In Niall Smith's case, it meant a leap into the great unknown.
Embracing a future with BE
Is Behavioural Economics a threat to qual? Or is it merely a timely 'nudge'? Mark Earls debates whether it's time to reframe what we do.
Riding the winds of change
We shouldn't fear technological innovation in the insight business, but we are right to be sceptical. No algorithm can yet interpret the twitch of an eyebrow.
Introducing Project Titus
Does virtual reality have the power to amplify our understanding of attitudes, behaviours and motivations in research? Shakespeare has the answer.
Pitching to grass roots
In this, the last of the AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award 2017 finalists' articles, we learn how qual helped harness cricket fans' emotions and grow the sport.
Perceptions of racial discrimination
Evidence from the Home Office Citizenship Survey revealed that many black and Asian people expect to be treated 'worse than others' because of their ethnicity or race. But why?
Two Systems? The Significance of Kahneman's Systems 1 and 2
Behavioural economics has rapidly become the new orthodoxy. While it is full of fascinating ideas, we should be wary of accepting it lock, stock and barrel. In particular, Systems 1 and 2, a key component in the popularisation of behavioural economics, is not as well founded as we might assume.
Behavioural insights in research: the shape of things to come?
It's been seven years since Kahneman published Thinking Fast and Slow, and there's no doubt that his ideas about why people behave the way they do have made a splash. His book has made topline almost 40 years of diverse, detailed academic research and become common knowledge – google anything about behavioural economics and you're overwhelmed by people weighing in on what this means for the way we understand people. Clients have also joined the conversation – it's becoming more and more com
Systems 1 and 2: turning theory into practice
I've recently experienced what it feels like to rely on System 2 thinking. In a half-hearted attempt to learn the ukulele over the last year, I've faced the mental challenge of having to think very deliberately about using my hands in a new, unfamiliar way. Although I'm unlikely to master playing it any time soon, I've made some progress.
Apprentices get stuck in
Rhiannon Price, a finalist in the AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Awards, reveals how a reality TV show can shine a fresh light on what makes consumers tick.
Those old familiar faces…
Tom Woodnutt rakes over that old chestnut: is it better to have fresh or repeat qualitative research participants? Is it time, he argues, to weed out professional respondents?
Researching UX: User Research
This new book, by James Lang and Emma Howell, contains a host of 'stealables' that will demystify design research and make the world a better place for qual researchers.
Wondering just what to read?
Wondering just what to read? Paul Arnold has the answer. His website contains a whole host of reviews that will keep you occupied for the foreseeable future. Here are just two summary extracts.
Speed dating with a difference
Steve Williams has come up with a new twist to an old format, and he's happy to share it. Let's hear it for SpeedMeet: a fresh slant on consumer closeness.
Bullsh*t Bingo
Oliver Sweet, winner of the 2017 AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award, on how demystifying the 'cool' in qual made the methods real and the impact tangible.