The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Latest additions to the AQR Library

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.
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