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Frontiers in Psychology


Narrative research systematically codes individual differences in the ways in which participants story crucial events in their lives to understand the extent to which they create meaning and purpose (McAdams, 2008). These narrative descriptions of life events address a diverse array of topics, such as personality (McAdams and Guo, 2015), development (Fivush et al., 2006), clinical applications (Banks and Salmon, 2013), well-being (Adler et al., 2016), gender (Grysman et al., 2016), and older adult memory decline (Levine et al., 2002).

Narrative research is an ideal way to involve undergraduate students as contributors to broader projects and often as co-authors. In narrative or mixed method research, undergraduates have the opportunity to think critically about methodology during study construction and implementation, and then by engaging with questions of construct validity when exploring how different methods yield complementary data on one topic. In narrative research in psychology, students collect data, as in many traditional psychology laboratories, but they collect either typed or spoken narratives and then extensively code narratives before quantitative data analysis can occur. Narrative research thus provides a unique opportunity to blend the psychological realities captured by qualitative data with the rigors of quantitative methods.


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Copyright © 2019 Grysman and Lodi-Smith. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.



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