Quality & Quantity

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 1589–1603 | Cite as

Qualitative research in psychology: misunderstandings about textual analysis

  • María Jesús Carrera-Fernández
  • Joan Guàrdia-Olmos
  • Maribel Peró-Cebollero


The authors review some of the problems faced by qualitative research in psychology, focusing on the aspects that limit its use and its inclusion in indexed publications. In order to determine whether these problems exist, a case study on textual analysis was performed. The authors conducted a literature search of many databases from the Web of Science (Sciences Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index), with the keywords “textual analysis” and “text analysis”. Subsequently, the authors completed an in-depth analysis of a sample of the publications found, reviewing publication aspects, substantive aspects, methodological aspects and contextual aspects. The results showed that “textual analysis” cannot be considered a specific methodology and so the use of this term as a particular technique could be misleading. This highlights the need to create a common vocabulary to facilitate the systematization and dissemination of work done with qualitative methods.


Qualitative research Qualitative techniques Collection methods Analysis methods Textual analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Jesús Carrera-Fernández
    • 1
  • Joan Guàrdia-Olmos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maribel Peró-Cebollero
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Methodology of the Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Research Institute in Brain, Cognition and Conduct (IR3C)University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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