Give qualitative research the recognition it deserves

Bercht, Anna Lena / Verena Sandner Le Gall / Jürgen Straub / [...]/ Jonas Hein et al.
External Publications (2024)

in: Journal of Environmental Psychology (accepted pre-print), first published 05.05.2024


Ratcliffe et al. (2024, JEP 93, Art. 102199) raise concern about the exclusion of purely qualitative research from JEP, as proposed by Schultz and McCunn’s editorial stance published in 2022. We support Ratcliffe et al.’s call for equal recognition of qualitative work alongside quantitative work in environmental psychology. Our article aims to contribute to this debate by presenting five additional points that emphasise the importance of qualitative contributions in advancing environmental psychology research. Through illustrative examples, we demonstrate how qualitative methods can reveal overlooked aspects, empower marginalised groups, promote social justice, and adapt to dynamic contexts and sensitive topics. We argue that qualitative research is as rigorous as quantitative research and offers insights that quantitative measures may fail to capture. Embracing qualitative contributions alongside quantitative work would advance interdisciplinary dialogue, strengthen environmental psychology and promote a comprehensive understanding of human-environment relationships.

About the author

Hein, Jonas



Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Banerjee, Aparajita

Environmental and Resource Sociology, Public Policy 

Dombrowsky, Ines


Houdret, Annabelle

Political Scientist 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Schoderer, Mirja

Environmental Research 

Schüpf, Dennis