#OTalk Research 6th October 2020 – Reflexivity in Research

Welcome to this weeks #OTalk Research. I am Sarah Lawson, (@SLawsonOT) a PhD Candidate, Lecturer Practitioner at Wrexham Glyndwr University and co-author of TRAMmCPD. I am carrying out a qualitative study and one of the things I am grappling with is the concept of reflexivity. I am interested to explore the concept and hear your thoughts on this important aspect of research.

Being reflexive within our research is integral to the research process at any level. As researchers we are constructing and creating knowledge through a process of interpretation (Braun and Clarke 2019) which is based on our own values, assumptions, biases, social and cultural contexts (Creswell and Creswell 2018; Etherington 2004; Finlay and Gough 2003) . These aspects also influence our choice of research topic, paradigms, methodology and methods. Our reality is socially and personally
constructed and being reflexive is a crucial, ongoing and active process which may be challenging but is necessary to provide context, and tackle concepts such as validity, trustworthiness and reliability within our research (Clancy 2013) .

Within qualitative research researcher subjectivity through reflexivity may be considered as positive rather than negative although as with many areas within research this is often contested. To explore reflexivity further we would like to consider the following questions within this chat:

Q. 1 Can you share any experiences of reflexivity and/or the types of studies in which you have experienced reflexivity being used?
Q.2 What do you understand to be the difference between reflective practice and reflexivity?
Q. 3 How have you recorded or demonstrated reflexivity or observed it being demonstrated?
Q. 4 How has reflexivity added to your study or research you are familiar with?
Q.5 What do you find challenging about ‘reflexivity’?
Q. 6 What do you need to consider next? How will you use what you have learnt from this #OTalk?

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2019) Reflecting on Reflexive Thematic Analysis. Qualitative research in sport,
exercise and health. 11 (4) pp. 589-597.
Clancy, M. (2013) Is Reflexivity the Key to Minimising Problems of Interpretation in
Phenomenological Research? Nurse Researcher. 20 (6) pp. 12-16.
Creswell, J.W. & Creswell, D. (2018) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed Methods
Approaches 5th Ed. London: Sage Publications.
Etherington, K. (2004) Becoming a Reflexive Researcher: Using Ourselves in Research. London: Jessica
Kingsley Publishers.
Finlay, L. & Gough, B. (2003) Reflexivity: A Practical Guide for Researchers in Health and Social
Sciences. Oxford: Blackwell.

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