Two articles published in Research Design Review in 2015 concerned an important goal of most researchers: to unravel the mysteries of attitudes and behavior. Both of these articles emphasize the idea that an essential ingredient to achieving this goal is allowing sufficient time in the research process to discover and explore contradictions in participants’ responses and find the personal meanings associated with the issues or constructs of interest.
The suggestion of adding time to research designs – e.g., longer survey questionnaires, lengthier in-depth interviews – flies in the face of the ever-increasing focus on “faster and cheaper” research through technology. A research design, however, that acknowledges the inconsistent and contradictory nature of human beings, and is intent on discovering personal meaning, will give the researcher the appropriate freedom to reach this all-important objective.
These articles are available for download in the document “Designing Research to Find Contradictions & Personal Meaning.”