Qualitative research sets out to understand the deeper meaning behind human behavior, and understanding projective techniques of qualitative research will help with any research project. Qualitative research is popular in business, and in many cases it will be used to help a business succeed. This article will discuss several different projective techniques of qualitative research.
Word or Picture Association
With this type of qualitative research participants are asked to “match images, experiences, emotions, products and services, even people and places, to whatever is being studied” (Cooper & Schindler, 2006). This method of research helps determine what underlying thoughts occur when someone reflects on an image, figure, or idea.
This is a simple and commonly used project technique of qualitative research. This method requires the participant to finish a sentence. This is a valuable tool that allows insight into the thoughts of the participant.
Thematic Apperception Tests
This interesting technique requires the participant to view a photograph or drawn picture. The participant must then explain what the person in the photo is feeling or thinking (Cooper &Schindler, 2006). This type of qualitative research can explain a lot about a person’s thoughts and behavior.
Another projective technique is known as component sorts. This technique is used by showing participants several flash cards. These cards all have different features that represent the subject of research on them. This participant is asked to combine the flash cards into new arrangements.
When conducting qualitative research, imagination exercises are a beneficial technique. This means of research requires a participant to relate specific things to other specific things (Cooper & Schindler, 2006). For instance, the participant might be asked to relate a brand name to a location. This will help the researcher to judge what a person thinks or feels about something through association.
An interesting projective technique that can be quite informative is personification. This technique requires a participant to think about a brand, product, person, or idea as being a person. The participant is them asked to describe the item as if they had human traits and characteristics. This is a projective technique that helps develop ideas about the emotions people have about said items.
Projective techniques of qualitative research are necessary tools for business research. These methods are commonly used and widely known, and it is important to understand a variety of projective techniques to receive accurate and beneficial information when conducting qualitative research.
Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2006). Business Research Methods (th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.