The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

Non-directive interviewing

At its simplest, this means interviewing that avoids leading questions, those that indicate a particular answer as 'preferred' by the interviewer.

This term also refers to the style of interviewing commonly adopted by 'conative' qualitative market researchers, loosely based on the principles developed for therapeutic purposes by the humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers. In this style, the interviewer takes a non-judgemental stance and uses active listening to bring out respondents' attitudes and feelings. In this sense, the researcher strives to allow respondents themselves to set the terms and parameters of the discussion.

Related Terms


About the AQR Glossary:
This glossary is compiled and maintained by the Association for Qualitative Research, the foremost authority on qualitative practice, training and innovation, and the global hub of qualitative thinking. If you are a qualitative research consultant or a business offering qualitative research services, please consider joining the AQR and supporting the organisation.

Benefits of AQR Membership