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2015 Vol. 79(2) 219-233

John A. Palmer, Ph.D.
Parapsychology Press


Kruth, J. (2015). Article. Five Qualitative Research Approaches and Their Applications in Parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 79(2), 219-233.


Five Qualitative Research Approaches and Their Applications in Parapsychology

John G. Kruth

Five qualitative research approaches are presented in this article including information about data collection methods, data analysis techniques, sampling, reporting, and validation. Each of these techniques is described separately with discussion about why a researcher might choose to use a qualitative research approach rather than follow a strict experimental or quantitative protocol. The qualitative approaches outlined are narratives, case studies, phenomenology, grounded theory, and ethnographies. In addition, a brief discussion of transpersonal qualitative approaches is included to introduce the reader to the perspectives of the transpersonal researcher. Finally, multiple examples are provided from the field of parapsychology that discuss how each approach could be applied to help advance the understanding of the psi experience and to contribute to future quantitative studies. Parapsychological researchers are encouraged to develop a better understanding of the value of qualitative research techniques outside of a laboratory environment and to utilize the results of qualitative studies to structure and develop better experimental methodologies in the laboratory setting.


qualitative research, transpersonal psychology, phenomenology, case study, parapsychology

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