Nardon, L., Hari, A., Aarma, K. Reflective Interviewing: Increasing social impact through research, International Journal of Qualitative Methods


Scholars are increasingly calling for research that “makes a difference” through theoretical, practical, societal, and educational impacts. Recognizing that academic research lags behind practitioners’ issues and that most academic writing is inaccessible to those who need the knowledge, some scholars are calling for embedding social impact in the research process itself. We argue that participant reflection can increase social impact by changing the way individuals think, behave, and perform. Research interviews can be interventionist with the potential to facilitate participant reflection; however, the current literature on the topic is fragmented. We combine this fragmented literature with discussions of social impact and interview techniques to propose interview principles to facilitate participant reflection toward social impact. We hope to stimulate researchers across a broad range of disciplines to think more intentionally about the impactful role of a common qualitative methodological tool, interviews, to support research participants and engage in socially meaningful research.