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Conference Explores the Possibilities of Qualitative Research


Fordham University held the inaugural Conference for Qualitative Research in the Human Sciences at the Lincoln Center campus on April 13 that featured a keynote address by Amedeo Giorgi, Ph.D. (GSAS ’55, GSAS ’58), a professor at the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center in San Francisco and a leading expert in psychological research practices.

The conference, sponsored by the Fordham Graduate Student Association and hosted by the graduate students at the Department of Psychology, drew social scientists from throughout the country, including Harvard University, the University of Tennessee and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Among the goals of the conference was to promote qualitative research in the human sciences. Qualitative research is different from quantitative research in that the latter relies heavily on gathering measurable data, often in an effort to discern cause and effect. Qualitative research, on the other hand, focuses more heavily on methods such as in-depth interviews and direct observation.

Giorgi, whose doctorate from Fordham is in experimental psychology, was one of two featured speakers at the conference. Giorgi is the author of more than 100 articles on phenomenology and psychology and is the founder of the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, serving as its editor for 25 years. The topic of his address was on “The Necessity for Qualitative Research in Psychology.”

A number of Fordham faculty members and graduate students took part in the panel discussions that dealt with topics ranging from the analysis of qualitative data to its role in examining multicultural issues.


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