Qualitative Research Critique


The purpose of this paper is to critique a study. The critique considers some aspects of the study:e the methodology of the study, the study results, the ethical issues pertinent to the study, the strengths, the weaknesses, and the limitations of the study. The article evaluated in this paper is the study by Farmer, J.R., MacKinnon, S.P., & Cowie, M. (2017) titled 'Perfectionism and Life Narratives: A Qualitative Study.'

The research questions put forward in the study are, a) how do maladaptive perfectionists view perfectionism? b) what themes are recurring in the autobiographical narratives of persons with high levels of perfectionism? The literature review of the study listed a brief number of literature. The authors highlighted a paucity of qualitative research on perfectionism even though quantitative research on the topic exists (MacKinnon, Sherry & Pratt, 2013). The study's literature review considered 5-6 studies related to motivation, cognition, and other perfectionism-related themes. There was no personal bias in the use of the studies in the review. The studies were relevant to the research questions and provided the information needed on the target subject.

Summary of Methods

The interview method was the preferred method of use in the study. Through the interview method, open and closed-ended questions could be asked of the participants. The interview method is ideal for extracting personal experiences and forming a large portion of this study. The qualitative method was appropriate for the type of study and was conducted using thematic analysis. The qualitative researcher conducts a limited number of interviews due to the time constraint for analysis and infers from the interviews. Each interview will be studied in-depth to isolate recurring themes in a majority of all of the interviews. The themes identified are regarded as the basis for all the interviews (Newman, 2016). Twenty students from Dalhousie University were recruited via flyers and online advertisements to study as participants. Six were adaptive perfectionists, and the other fourteen were maladaptive perfectionists. Each participant was subjected to a qualitative interview, and data relevant to the study were collected from the sessions. The interviews were audio-recorded, and a paper was supplied to the participants, which contained questions asked during the participant's recounting of important life events as a reference. The interview protocols were verbally provided to the participants, and the participants were allowed to ask questions before starting both sections of the interview.

The authors employed reflexivity and bracketing while analyzing the collected data to prevent personal bias from tainting the data. All data...…a cause and effect relationship.


The study conducted by the researchers was well planned and executed in a precise manner using thematic analysis. By making inferences from the participant's life narratives in the study, the basis of a perfectionist can be drawn. The authors employed interviews to ask the participants to open and close-ended questions to identify each individual's recurring themes. A comparison between adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists was also attempted based on the information collected. The study revealed an underlying focus on interpersonal relationships and academic achievement for both groups of perfectionists. The themes of perfectionism were identifiable from each participant's life narratives in each group, and the results of the study might prove useful to clinicians examining autobiographical narratives for perfectionism. The study also identified an agentic contamination theme, which caused negative emotions due to the successive events that tarnished an agentic achievement. The feelings of negativity and regret towards the self-identified during the study had been reported in prior research on perfectionism.

Studies conducted in the future should include a non-perfectionist "control" group to improve such studies' findings. The control group will provide a comparison between the interpretation of life events by perfectionists and non-perfectionists. The control group will eliminate all other factors such as age…

Sources Used in Documents:


Farmer, J. R., Mackinnon, S. P., & Cowie, M. (2017). Perfectionism and life narratives: A qualitative study. SAGE Open, 7(3), 1-14. Doi: 10.1177/2158244017721733

Mackinnon, S. P., Sherry, S. B., & Pratt, M. W. (2013). The relationship between perfectionism, agency, and communion: A longitudinal mixed-methods analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 263-271. Doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2013.02.007

Newman, M. (2016). Research methods in psychology. (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.

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