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When quantitative measures become a qualitative storybook : a phenomenological case analysis of validity and performativity of questionnaire administration in psychotherapy research

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Abstract
In psychotherapy research, treatment efficacy is commonly studied by means of self-report questionnaires to gain quantitative data on symptom development. The data serve as input for statistical analyses up to the level of evidence-based treatment. We analyzed how a patient in a psychotherapy study experienced the translation of her story into quantitative data by combining a phenomenological qualitative analysis of her therapeutic narrative and a visual analysis of her extensively annotated paper-andpencil questionnaires. Our findings provide a practical empirical illustration of the nature and impact of known validity issues. Beyond, we found the act of questionnaire administration affected the primary complaint such that it became performative toward the symptoms under study. We discuss the epistemic consequences for the validity of data, and we argue that valid data collection requires qualitative scrutiny of meaning within data and a concept of validity that allows for consideration of performativity of data collection.
Keywords
Psychology, Psychotherapy, Clinical Psychology, Philosophy of Science, Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research, Case study, interpretative phenomenological analysis, psychotherapy research, quantitative data, validity of data collection, validity and performativity

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Chicago
Truijens, Femke, Mattias Desmet, Eva De Coster, Horanka Uyttenhove, Bram Deeren, and Reitske Meganck. 2019. “When Quantitative Measures Become a Qualitative Storybook : a Phenomenological Case Analysis of Validity and Performativity of Questionnaire Administration in Psychotherapy Research.” Qualitative Research in Psychology: 1–44.
APA
Truijens, F., Desmet, M., De Coster, E., Uyttenhove, H., Deeren, B., & Meganck, R. (2019). When quantitative measures become a qualitative storybook : a phenomenological case analysis of validity and performativity of questionnaire administration in psychotherapy research. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY, 1–44.
Vancouver
1.
Truijens F, Desmet M, De Coster E, Uyttenhove H, Deeren B, Meganck R. When quantitative measures become a qualitative storybook : a phenomenological case analysis of validity and performativity of questionnaire administration in psychotherapy research. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY. Informa UK Limited; 2019;1–44.
MLA
Truijens, Femke et al. “When Quantitative Measures Become a Qualitative Storybook : a Phenomenological Case Analysis of Validity and Performativity of Questionnaire Administration in Psychotherapy Research.” QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY (2019): 1–44. Print.
@article{8604065,
  abstract     = {In psychotherapy research, treatment efficacy is commonly studied
by means of self-report questionnaires to gain quantitative
data on symptom development. The data serve as input for
statistical analyses up to the level of evidence-based treatment.
We analyzed how a patient in a psychotherapy study experienced
the translation of her story into quantitative data by combining
a phenomenological qualitative analysis of her therapeutic narrative
and a visual analysis of her extensively annotated paper-andpencil
questionnaires. Our findings provide a practical empirical
illustration of the nature and impact of known validity issues.
Beyond, we found the act of questionnaire administration
affected the primary complaint such that it became performative
toward the symptoms under study. We discuss the epistemic
consequences for the validity of data, and we argue that valid
data collection requires qualitative scrutiny of meaning within
data and a concept of validity that allows for consideration of
performativity of data collection.},
  author       = {Truijens, Femke and Desmet, Mattias and De Coster, Eva and Uyttenhove, Horanka and Deeren, Bram and Meganck, Reitske},
  issn         = {1478-0887},
  journal      = {QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1--44},
  publisher    = {Informa UK Limited},
  title        = {When quantitative measures become a qualitative storybook : a phenomenological case analysis of validity and performativity of questionnaire administration in psychotherapy research},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2019.1579287},
  year         = {2019},
}

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