December's Lunchtime Talk:
Dr Thomas Spielhofer

December's Lunchtime Talk:
Dr Thomas Spielhofer

New methods for gathering qualitative data in TIHR research and beyond.

New methods for gathering qualitative data in TIHR research and beyond.


Dr Thomas Spielhofer will join us for our next lunchtime talk on Wednesday 4th December 2013 at 1.00pm 

A lot of the work we conduct at the Tavistock Institute involves the use of qualitative interviews to explore the views and experiences of research subjects on various topics. In many cases, given the nature of our work, the topics of these interviews are often very sensitive and it is hard to get at interviewees’ true feelings or attitudes using direct questioning techniques. So it is really important to develop suitable and appropriate research instruments and interviewing approaches.

Thomas has many years experience of conducting qualitative interviews with a variety of types of interviewees, including hard to reach young people, children and adults, using both face-to-face and focus group approaches. In this seminar, he will present some of the techniques he has used in the past in qualitative interviews to get ‘under the skin’ of research subjects and to explore sensitive or abstract ideas or topics. This will include various ‘projective techniques’, such as the use of vignettes, ordering or sentence completion exercises, as well as the use of Audience Response System (ARS) devices. The seminar will also encourage participants to share their own experiences and to try out some of the techniques.

Thomas is a Senior Researcher and joined TIHR in May 2011, having previously worked for the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) for over 10 years. His expertise lies in research on children, young people and families, with a particular focus on young people aged 11 to 19 who are disadvantaged and/or disengaged from education. While working for NFER he provided training to colleagues as well as Local Government Authority (LGA) staff on all aspects of qualitative research, from research design to analysis.

Every third Wednesday at the Tavistock Institute, staff, associates, trustees and partners have come together for these informal talks. Now as we enter the sixth year of talks we are looking to widen this community and to explore the possibilities for development and new thought through engaging with a wider audience.

For more information on upcoming and previous talks, how to book or get more involved go to the dedicated Food for Thought webpages.

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