A Pragmatic Research Philosophy for Sport and Exercise Psychology

in The Sport Psychologist
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A pragmatic research philosophy is introduced that embraces mixed-method approaches to applied research questions. With its origins in the work of Peirce (1984), James (1907), Dewey (1931), and contemporary support from Rorty (1982, 1990,1991), pragmatism emphasizes the practical problems experienced by people, the research questions posited, and the consequences of inquiry. As a way to highlight applications of pragmatism in sport psychology, pragmatism is compared to constructivism and positivism in terms of philosophical underpinnings and methodological applications. The pragmatic researcher is sensitive to the social, historical, and political context from which inquiry begins and considers morality, ethics, and issues of social justice to be important throughout the research process. Pragmatists often use pluralistic methods during multiphase research projects. Exemplar design types are discussed that logically cohere to a pragmatic research philosophy.

Peter Giacobbi, Jr. is with the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-8205. E-mail: Pgiacobbi@hhp.ufl.edu. Artur Poczwardowski is with the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL 33161; Peter Hager is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport at the State University of New York, College at Brockport. E-mail: phager@Brockport.edu.

The authors would like to thank Vikki Krane for her insightful comments during the review process.

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