The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Latest additions to the AQR Library

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.
Branding in the age of strong opinion
Social purpose advertising runs the risk of alienating those it is trying to appeal to
Empowered voices
It's always been taboo to think of children as consumers or customers, and marketing directly to them brings with it criticism from many different parties.
Participant experience
What can researchers do to make the process more engaging and fruitful?
What do I do if...?
The new GDPR offers fresh challenges to our industry. We offer answers to a few basic questions on the topic, with a longer version of this article appearing online.
Escaping sandal-ed prejudice
Veganism is getting a sexy new make-over, but why should you care? Well, it offers insights into a new generation of consumers and a canny stealth marketing exercise.
Made with Qual
Qualitative research faces challenges on a number of fronts, but none of them are insurmountable. And surely, says Lyn McGregor, the best response is to shout out its benefits?
Spotlight on convergence
What's the future of research? It's a big question, but one that feels increasingly important to try and get a handle on. Here, Niall Smith offers his personal take on the topic.
Mapping a new direction
There are few disciplines that seek properly to examine the nature and importance of subjective experience the way market research does, but that's only half the story.
Never the twain shall meet?
One of the hot topics at AQR's recent conference was the cross-over – or even convergence – of qual and quant research. In Brief looks at where this might be heading.
Christmas in chaos
Chaos Theory can help make sense of the most complex and chaotic behaviours
Memories of the future
Why tomorrow could just be many variations of the present
Finding meaning in social media
Instant sharing, measured thinking – a look at how semiotic research delivers actionable consumer insights in our age of online social sharing.
Clean sweep for innovation
Billie Ing and Oliver Sweet, finalists in the AQR Prosper Riley- Qualitative Excellence Award, show why good qual research should be placed at the heart of the innovation process.
Building rapport with children
It's tempting to assume that dealing with children will be kids play – and it can, if you plan ahead. Judy Bartkowiak offers hints and tips for dealing with younger respondents.
Go hit it beyond Wimbledon
We learn from one of the AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award joint winners how the LTA used behaviour change to gain an advantage point.
Picture Perfect
How to capture the Experience Economy in Art? That was the challenge facing one of the joint winners of 2016's AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award.
Making an experience real
As more Virtual Reality (VR) content is produced, Neil Stevenson has been pondering a simple question: What makes 'good' VR content good, exactly?