What is perceived as being important for friendship?

Qualitative Research Report – The Psychology of Friendships

The assignment is a Qualitative Research Report based on the attached interview. The assignment is fairly easy because it is part of the Introduction to Research Methods module in which we for the first time learn how to do research. Due to that research has a very small sample and that is only one interview with one participant. You already started to work on the part of the assignment doing Literature Review.

The Research Question is: What is perceived as being important for friendship?

We already adapted the question a bit so it fits better to the interview (it narrows the literature review down).

The topic of the interview is: The Psychology of Friendships, and you will need to write up your findings as a Qualitative Report.

As part of this you will need to:
1. Carry out a Literature Review (which you already started).
2. Conduct a Thematic Analysis.
3. Structure your findings using the conventional Scientific Report style Use the American Psychological Association style of referencing.

The attached interview with Alexander was conducted in Spring 2008 at Liverpool John Moores University by Tanya Corker and Alasdair Gordon-Finlayson. The interview took place in a small room at Liverpool John Moores University. Ethical approval for the interview was provided by York St John University (where the project was co-ordinated) and Liverpool John Moores University (where the interview was organised).

You should be aiming to review literature from between 5-10 sources to ensure you cover the topic in enough detail.

After that analyse the attached interview (Alexander) transcripts using Thematic Analysis (see TA checklist attached and worked examples that show how TA should be executed).

The TA process is as follows:

1. Familiarizing yourself with your data: Reading and re-reading the data, noting down initial ideas.

2. Generating initial codes: Coding interesting features of the data in a systematic fashion across the entire data set, collating data relevant to each code.

3. Searching for themes: Collating codes into potential themes, gathering all data relevant to each potential theme.

4. Reviewing themes: Checking if the themes work in relation to the coded extracts and the entire data set, generating a thematic ‘map’ of the analysis.

5. Defining and naming themes: Ongoing analysis to refine the specifics of each theme, and the overall story the analysis tells, generating clear definitions and names for each theme.

6. Producing the report: The final opportunity for analysis. Selection of vivid, compelling extract examples, the final analysis of selected extracts, relating back of the analysis to the research question and literature, producing a scholarly report of the analysis.

The report should be structured as follows:

a) Abstract (max. 250 words)
Include an overview of the study background, method, analysis approach and discussion including implications of the research.

b) Introduction (approx. 800 words).
Your literature review should provide an overview of the subject under consideration and typically it should be in the following format:

• Include an introduction to the topic, followed by key approaches and studies in the area. This should start broad and then narrow in focus to your specific area of study.

• Show how your study relates to previous studies. This can include differences in methodology and areas of disagreement or “gaps” in the literature.

• Conclude by summarising what the literature says and use this material to frame the rationale for the current study.

• State your research question (What is perceived as being important for friendship?) – these should follow logically on from the arguments you have built in your Introduction.

c) Method (approx. 350 – 600 words).
This part of your report should provide enough information so that another researcher could replicate the results. Typically, it contains details about the following:

• Number of Participants and characteristics appropriate to the study
• Data collection method (“Materials” in a quantitative report)
• Explain your chosen method of data analysis
• Ethical considerations and approval (please read Data set User Guide attached)

d) Analysis (approx. 900 – 1100 words)

Qualitative Reports
In this section, you present your findings, supported with representative extracts from the data, for example, quotes from the transcript (attached interview). These quotes represent your data and should illustrate (with a diagram, a ‘map’ or a model) your analysis – they are not a substitute for analysis. Ensure you interpret, as well as describe, the data. Long extracts are not necessary. Extracts are included in your word count. These quotes represent your data and should illustrate your analysis – they are not a substitute for analysis.

e) Discussion (approx. 500 words)
Present a summary of the research and link the core findings to the literature that you have presented in the Introduction. Typically, in this section new information, in the form of supporting literature, is NOT introduced. Rather the researcher explains, evaluates and interprets the findings considering the research previously reviewed at the outset of the project. This section also includes a critique of the current study, including its applications in the “real world”, any study limitations and recommendations for future research. A conclusion is provided which summarises the key findings.

f) Appendices.
Include any additional information that is useful in evidencing your analysis. Here you should provide coding and themes from Thematic Analysis ( the entire process documented in Word document and excel).