Qualitative Human Science Methodologies

Human Science.
• Wikipedia.

Human science (also, humanistic social science, moral science and human sciences) refers to the investigation of human life and activities via a phenomenological methodology that acknowledges the validity of both sensory and psychological experience. It includes but is not necessarily limited to humanistic modes of inquiry within fields of the social sciences and humanities, including history, sociology, anthropology, and economics. Its use of an empirical methodology that encompasses psychological experience contrasts to the purely positivistic approach typical of the natural sciences which exclude all methods not based solely on sensory observations. Thus the term is often used to distinguish not only the content of a field of study from those of the natural sciences, but also its methodology....

In recent years, “human science” has been used to refer to a philosophy and approach to science that seeks to understand human experience in deeply subjective, personal, historical, contextual, cross-cultural, political, and spiritual terms. Human science is the science of qualities rather than of quantities and closes the subject-object split in science. In particular, it addresses the ways in which self-reflection, art, music, poetry, drama, language and imagery reveal the human condition. By being interpretive, reflective, and appreciative, human science re-opens the conversation among science, art, and philosophy.

Human Science.
• Saybrook University.
• Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic

Human science re-opens the conversations between science, art, and philosophy, and offers a crucial perspective, a human centered perspective, on contemporary life. By doing so it also investigates human potential, discovering how people and cultures can grow to become their better selves.

What Is Human Science?
• David San Filippo, M.A., LMHC.

Human science is the study and interpretation of the experiences, activities, constructs, and artifacts associated with human beings.... Human science is the objective, informed critique of human existence and how it relates to reality. The ultimate question of science is - What is reality? The ultimate question in the study of human beings - What is the reality of being human? To study appropriate human phenomena it is necessary to use multiple systems of inquiry. Empirical, psychological/philosophical, and spiritual methods of inquiry are the research methodologies associated with the human sciences.

Human sciences is studied, interpreted, and reported using the following techniques:

  1. The holistic study of systems and structures.
  2. The study of human actions, such as free will or intentionality.
  3. Existential-phenomenological descriptions.
  4. Hermeneutic interpretations.

... The methods of inquiry for the human sciences to address the key issues associated with inquiries into human phenomena are:

Empirical Inquiry
... The empirical approach uses the deductive and pragmatic systems of inquiry....

Psychological/Philosophical Inquiry
The research and evaluation of the structures that make up the human experience towards the world are interpreted by the existential-phenomenological systems of inquiry....
... The hermeneutic approach to inquiry supports and enhances the existential-phenomenological approach by seeking to understand the human experience by interpreting the experiences in order to better understand the human phenomena....

Spiritual Inquiry
Spiritual inquiry is a study in the human contemplation of their being. It is a personal inquiry that provides insight into the individual human experience. Spiritual inquiry involves the researcher being in touch with who he or she is and how he or she relates to the rest of the world.

Forum for History of Human Science.

The Forum [for History of Human Science] subscribes to a broad definition of human science that encompasses such disciplines as anthropology, economics, geography, history, linguistics, political science, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, and statistics, as well as aspects of the biological and physical sciences, medicine, education, law, and philosophy.

• Heuristic Research: Design and Methodology.
• Clark Moustakas.
• The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology.
• Sage Publications. 2001.

From the beginning and throughout an investigation, heuristic research involves self-search, self-dialogue, and self-discovery. The research question and methodology flow out of inner awareness, meaning, and inspiration. When I consider an issue, a problem, or a question, I enter into it fully. I focus on it with unwavering attention and interest. I search intro-spectively, meditatively, and reflectively into its nature and meaning. My primary task is to recognize whatever exists in my consciousness as a fundamental awareness-to receive it, accept it, support it, and dwell inside it. I awaken to it as my question, receptive, open, and with full and unqualified interest in extending my understanding. I begin the heuristic investigation with my own self-awareness and explicate that awareness with reference to a question or problem until an essential insight is achieved, one that will throw a beginning light on a critical human experience....

I may be entranced by visions, images, and dreams that connect me to my quest. I may come into touch with new regions of myself and discover revealing connections with others....

Douglass and I contrasted heuristic research from the traditional paradigm, noting that traditional empirical investigations presuppose cause-effect relationships, whereas heuristic scientists seek to discover the nature and meaning of phenomena themselves and to illuminate them through direct first-person accounts of individuals who have directly encountered the phenomena in experience ....

... Whereas phenomenology encourages a kind of detachment from the phenomenon being investigated, heuristics emphasizes connectedness and relationship....

The focus in a heuristic quest is on recreation of the lived experience, that is, full and complete depictions of the experience from the frame of reference of the experiencing person. The challenge is fulfilled through examples, narrative descriptions, dialogues, stories, poems, artwork, journals and diaries, autobiographical logs, and other personal documents....

All heuristic inquiry begins with the internal search to discover, with an encompassing puzzlement, a passionate desire to know, a devotion and commitment to pursue a question that is strongly connected to one's own identity and selfhood. The awakening of such a question comes through an inward clearing and an intentional readiness and determination to discover a fundamental truth regarding the meaning and essence of one's own experience and that of others....

Methods of heuristic research are open-ended....

The researcher must keep in mind throughout the process that the material collected must depict the experience in accurate, comprehensive, rich, and vivid terms. In heuristic research, depictions often are presented in stories, examples, conversations, metaphors, and analogies.

• Heuristic Inquiry.
• David R. Hiles.
• The Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research.
• SAGE Publications. 2008.

The heuristic approach to qualitative research was pioneered by American humanistic psychologist Clark Moustakas. Although it is an exploratory approach to research, it is really quite different from other approaches in that it is not concerned with discovering theories or testing hypotheses, but is concerned directly with human knowing and especially, with self-inquiry. The term heuristic derives from the Greek word heuriskein, which means to find or discover, and is used by Moustakas to describe the process of an inner search for knowledge, aimed at discovering the nature and meaning of an experience. It is an approach that offers a significant departure from mainstream research in that it explicitly acknowledges the involvement of the researcher to the extent that the lived experience of the researcher becomes the main focus of the research....

... Moustakas's heuristic approach offers a structured sequence involving seven phases of inquiry.

  1. Initial Engagement. Research begins with the discovery of an intense and passionate interest or concern with respect to important social and universal meanings that have personal implications. Initial engagement involves self-dialogue and an inner search helping to clarify the chosen topic and the research question. Turning inward taps into tacit awareness and knowledge, and requires disciplined commitment in order to discern the underlying meanings and clarify the context.
  2. Immersion. Following the discovery and clarification of the question, the researcher immerses in anything and everything connected with the question. This involves intense exploration, following trails of data, self-dialogue, self-searching, seeking out co-researchers with similar concerns and experiences, and facilitating the tacit dimension of knowing. It is a phase that might seem quite boundless.
  3. Incubation. This is period of consolidation. Focus is relaxed, such that emerging ideas are allowed to take root. It may be important to take ?time out? in order to create a space for ideas to germinate, or it may involve further more-focused work with co-researchers.
  4. Illumination. This occurs naturally and spontaneously out of the relaxed and tacit state of the previous phase. There is a meeting of conscious and unconscious aspects of the phenomenon and the beginnings of a synthesis of fragmented knowledge emerges. There is insight, and emotional connection is made. The universal significance of the phenomenon is realized. A completely new discovery is made.
  5. Explication. This requires a further period of indwelling and focusing in order to deepen, clarify and refine the new discovery, to gain a more complete understanding of the phenomenon. This is a more detailed process, involving continuous self-exploration and awareness. The researcher explicates the major components of the phenomenon in readiness for the final phase of integration.
  6. Creative Synthesis. This is achieved through mastery of the data and inspiration from the tacit and intuitive dimensions. The focus is upon integration and synthesis, and the mode of its expression as a fully realized picture of the discovery. The researcher may explore any creative means that feels appropriate- for example, art, poetry, music, metaphor, and so on as well as description and narrative-in order to convey the purest essence of the phenomenon to the world.
  7. Validation of the Heuristic Research. Moustakas regards the question of validity as one of meaning. The heuristic researcher returns again and again to the data to check that the depiction of the experience is comprehensive, vivid and accurate. This is a judgment that in the first instance can only be made by the primary researcher. Validation is further enhanced through co-researcher validation. Nevertheless, a final validation must be left to how the research is received, through publication, presentation, or perhaps performance. Indeed, it is in sharing the creative synthesis with others that the validity of heuristic work is established.

Loving Inquiry.
• Dr. Ahava Shira

Loving Inquiry reconnects us to our hearts, our spiritual awareness and the deepest purpose for our lives....

Through the practice of Loving Inquiry, we learn to live with passion and compassion, opening to what is happening in the present moment, with interest, curiosity and a willingness to not know. We learn to replace the habit of wanting things to be different with acceptance of what is.

Organic Inquiry.
• Jennifer Clements, Dorothy Ettling, Dianne Jenett,
  and Lisa Shields.

Organic inquiry is a qualitative methodology which acknowledges that every research study has an inherent and expanding nature which may be realized through subjective and intuitive methods. Rather than aiming at generalized and replicable results, organic inquiry seeks to present the data and analysis in such a way that the individual reader may interact with it and be personally transformed.

The methodology views the researcher's own experience and story as the instrument of the study. Just as a qualitative instrument measures data, the story and the ongoing experience of the primary researcher becomes the tool of measurement of organic data and the means by which the reader may engage with the results.

Q Methodology: A Sneak Preview
• Job van Exel.

Q methodology provides a foundation for the systematic study of subjectivity, a person's viewpoint, opinion, beliefs, attitude, and the like .... Typically, in a Q methodological study people are presented with a sample of statements about some topic, called the Q-set. Respondents, called the P-set, are asked to rank-order the statements from their individual point of view, according to some preference, judgement or feeling about them, mostly using a quasi-normal distribution.

These individual rankings (or viewpoints) are then subject to factor analysis.

A Participatory Inquiry Paradigm.
• John Heron and Peter Reason.

The participatory worldview allows us as human persons to know that we are part of the whole, rather than separated as mind over and against matter, or placed here in the relatively separate creation of a transcendent god. It allows us to join with fellow humans in collaborative forms of inquiry. It places us back in relation with the living world-and we note that to be in relation means that we live with the rest of creation as relatives, with all the rights and obligations that implies ....

... our empiricism is the radical sort long since commended by phenomenologists: a pristine acquaintance with phenomena unadulterated by preconceptions ....

Spiritual Inquiry.
• South Pacific Centre for Human Inquiry.
• John Heron.

Spiritual inquiry presupposes that each inquirer has an internal monitor, a divine ground within, which is an autonomous touchstone for making valid spiritual distinctions. The beginner may project this inner authority outward for a period and invest it in some external spiritual authority to acquire a training in some type of spiritual practice. But spiritual inquiry as such presupposes that such projection is withdrawn, and that all texts, teachers, schools and traditions of belief and practice, become valuable secondary resources for the inquiry process. The primary resource is a creative interpretation, within the limits of one's current state and context, of the promptings of divine becoming – the deus implicitus, the divine roots of human aspiration, spirit-in-action – deep within. Spiritual inquiry, with this primary resource, is a radical and fundamental form of spiritual practice. It involves the co-creation of a spiritual path by the discriminating inquirer-in-context and the deus implicitus.

Narrative Inquiry.

Narrative inquiry is the process of gathering information for the purpose of research through storytelling. The researcher then writes a narrative of the experience.... [P]eople’s lives consist of stories.

Field notes, interviews, journals, letters, autobiographies, and orally told stories are all methods of narrative inquiry.

• Appreciative Inquiry: A Transformative Paradigm.
• Jane Magruder Watkins and David Cooperrider.

Used in place of the traditional problem solving approach—finding what is wrong and forging solutions to fix the problems—Appreciative Inquiry seeks what is “right” in an organization. It is a habit of mind, heart, and imagination that searches for the success, the life-giving force, the incidence of joy. It moves toward what the organization is doing right and provides a frame for creating an imagined future that builds on and expands the joyful and life-giving realities as the metaphor and organizing principle of the organization.

• The Phenomenological Movement and.
  Research in the Human Sciences.
• Amedeo Giorgi, Ph.D..
• Saybrook Graduate School.
  San Francisco, California.

... I have to make clearer what is meant by human science.... My own perspective on this issue is that a human science is a knowledge-acquiring enterprise that uses an approach and method that is faithful to the unique qualities of human beings. That is, it is radically nonreductionistic. No attribute can be assigned to the human participant in research, in principle, that the researcher is not willing to attribute to him or herself. Thus, the human participant is an embodied conscious being who bestows meaning in the world, with an historical past in the midst of a sociocultural environment capable of linguistic and other modes of expression with degrees of freedom with respect to choices concerning his or her destiny. The researcher also has all of those characteristics, and thus a human equality is established between the two and the only difference between them in a research situation is the role difference.

• The Rise of Elizabeth Warren:
  Lessons for Qualitative Researchers
• Jane F. Gilgun.
• University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
• Current Issues in Qualitative Research.
• Volume 1, Number 6, August 2010.

Human sciences traditions suggest that researchers focus on subjectivity, to be clear about their own values, and to do research that is based on values, including becoming advocates themselves. They write their research in plain English to make it accessible to a lot of people. Some researchers believe that their research should be written so as to draw audiences in ....

A hallmark of human sciences research is to acknowledge variations in human phenomena. It is rare that any generalization fits all cases.....

Human sciences traditions give researchers guidance on how to conduct research that focuses on subjectivity, honor patterns and exceptions to general statements, allow for researcher values, and encourage emancipatory research; that is, research that examines and documents human situations where justice and care at are issue.

Wilhelm Dilthey.
• Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

[Wilhelm] Dilthey’s first important theoretical work is the Introduction to the Human Sciences  of 1883. The human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften) encompass both the humanities and the social sciences. They range from disciplines like philology, literary and cultural studies, religion and psychology, to political science and economics. Dilthey insists that the human sciences be related not by some logical construct on the order of a Comte or a Mill, but by means of reflective considerations that take their historical genesis into account....

Hermeneutics [to Dilthey] is the theory of interpretation that relates to all human objectifications—that is, not only speech and writing, but also visual artistic expressions, more casual physical gestures as well as observable actions or deeds.

• Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation.
• Roy Bhaskar.

Monism/holism spurns distinctions and is typical of positivist philosophies of science. In the human sciences it readily lends itself to reification and more generally neglect of the subjective aspects social life (including denial of the instrinsic aspect of consciousness. Pluralism/atomism scorns the possibility or significance of interconnections between the sciences and is characteristic of romantic and idealist philosophies. In the human sciences it encourages hypostatisation and more generally neglect of the interdependencies between, and in particular the material grounding of, the various facets of human existence (including denial of the extrinsic aspect of consciousness), sometimes tending to a solipsistic repudiation of any alterity or other-being.

Arthur P. Boucher.
• Notes toward an ethics of memory
  in autoethnographic inquiry.
• In Norman K. Denzin and Michael D. Giardina (Eds.).
• Ethical futures in qualitative research.
• Page 18.

[Autoethnography:] Autobiographical genre of writing and research that displays multiple layers of consciousness, connecting the personal to the cultural. Back and forth autoethnographers gaze, first through an ethnographic wide-angle lens, focusing outward on social and cultural aspects of the personal experience; then they look inward, exposing a vulnerable self that is moved by and may move through, refract and resist cultural interpretations.

Rosemarie Anderson
• Professor of Transpersonal Psychology.
• Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
• Palo Alto, California.
• Retrieved on November 22, 2011

Intuitive inquiry is an epistemology of the heart that joins intuition to intellectual precision in a hermeneutical process of interpretation. From the start, intuitive researchers explore topics that claim their enthusiasm, honor their own life experiences as sources of inspiration, and invite the research process to transform not only their understanding of the topic but their lives. Long claimed as essential to wisdom in indigenous and spiritual traditions worldwide, the subtle ways of the heart nourish and balance analytic ways of knowing. In a series of five iterative cycles of interpretation, the researcher refines and challenges their initial understandings through personal and in-depth reflection on the stories and accounts of others, always seeking new and renewed understanding.

In pursuing matters of the heart, intuitive inquiry is also a creative process that seeks to bridge the gap between art and science.

Intuitive Inquiry: Five Cycles of Interpretation
• Rosemarie Anderson.
• Wellknowing Consulting Services.
• Retrieved on November 23, 2011.

I originally developed intuitive inquiry in response to my doctoral students’ needs in the field of transpersonal psychology....

Intuitive Inquiry is composed of five iterative cycles of interpretation. As a research method, it follows in the philosophic lineage of Western hermeneutics ....

Cycle 1: ... selecting a text or image that repeatedly attracts or claims the intuitive researcher's attention ....

Cycle 2: ... reflects upon her or his own understanding of the topic in light of a set of selected texts ....

Cycle 3: Collecting Data and Preparing Summary Reports ....

Cycle 4: ... the researcher then interprets data ....

Throughout Intuitive Inquiry, the most important feature of interpreting data is intuitive breakthroughs ....

Cycle 5: ... the intuitive researcher stands back from the entire research process to date and takes into consideration all aspects of the study anew, as though drawing a larger hermeneutical circle around the hermeneutical circle prescribed by the forward and return arcs of the study.

Ethical Inquiry
• Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
• Duke University
• Retrieved on November 26, 2011

Ethical issues and values frame and shape human conduct and ways of life. Courses coded EI [Ethical Inquiry] encourage students to develop and apply skills in ethical reasoning, to assess critically the consequences of actions, both individual and societal, and to sharpen their understanding of the ethical and political implications of public and personal decision-making.