Wittgenstein’s later philosophy and "pictures" of mixed-method research in psychology: a critical investigation of theories and accounts of methodological plurality

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    Abstract

    Wittgenstein's philosophical method and later writings help psychologists to identify and work through “pictures” evoked and used in our linguistic practices especially when these representations appear to be self-evident and they promote fundamental misconceptions. This paper applies Wittgenstein’s later philosophy to theories and accounts of combinations of quantitative and qualitative methods in psychology, many of which have now been extended to mixtures of qualitative methods with contrasting theoretical assumptions. In contrast to pragmatist, realist and social constructionist stances, a Wittgensteinian approach examines metatheoretical and metamethdological pictures of methodological plurality in a treatment of issues that are traditionally explored in terms of epistemological, ontological, interpretative and paradigm differences. Arguments that Wittgenstein’s work can strengthen existing forms of personal, methodological and deconstructive reflexivity in psychological research practices are exemplified with a specific example of combining psychosocial and discursive qualitative methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)473-493
    JournalTheory & Psychology
    Volume25
    Issue number4
    Early online date29 May 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

    Keywords

    • Wittgenstein
    • Conceptual analysis
    • Methodological pluralism
    • Mixed methods
    • Qualitative research

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