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Pile Sorting and Free Listing

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hannah clarke

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of Pile Sorting and Free Listing

Free Listing
Pile Sorting Free Listing Pile Sorting Overview...

“Free listing is a deceptively simple but powerful technique. It is generally used to study a cultural domain.” -H. R. Bernard strengths and weaknesses? Technique for gathering systematic data
Tends to give cultural information
Informs one on the context of a targeted area strengths weaknesses so what is pile sorting? a technique aimed at studying the relations among items within a domain useful for discovering informants’ perceptions of the similarities and differences among items

to look at intercultural variation in how informants define domains A little more detail... why use it? Example: The Use of the Pile Sort Method in Identifying Groups of Healthful Lifestyle Behaviors among Female Community College Students A researcher generally asks a sample of individuals to create a list specific to the researcher's study. For example, "Please list the 20 most common foods in your diet" may produce a free list that depicts the overall dietary health of an individual. Using this prompt on a larger scale, one could see the overall dietary health of a community. so what are the Strengths: *simple
*targets common perceptions
can be used to compare different groups or cultures
*no required training
*good source for baseline data
*results quantifiable
*works with individuals and groups -30 women split into groups with a range of 3 to 8 women per group

-They each wrote one component of a healthy life style on an index card and could write as many cards as they wanted

-Cards were grouped into one or more piles using any common characteristic by the women in the groups

- The women were then interviewed about their previous experience with nutrition education, their knowledge about cancer, and barriers to making nutrition and physical activity changes - can be done using large numbers of items

- they are easy to administer Weaknesses *not a stand alone method
*possibility of making false associations
*need large sample size
*need for researchers' familiarity with culture and language of respondents Data Collection Results Decide what domains you want to cover
Formulate question
Test question
Revise question http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjFQMxBmpNA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjFQMxBmpNA Carry out the questioning
Include other questions if necessary
Use a large sample size
At least 20-30 participants Calculate response frequency
Draw conclusions
Combine with other study methods Why use free listing? Useful when learning about a relatively unstudied community
Reflects the ideas that communities or societies have specific, culturally based ways of perceiving the world
Reveals cultural contexts through commonly occurring themes or ideas
Allows us to better understand how a population defines a domain
Does not directly solve social problems but rather identifies them and gives a deeper understanding on how to approach them bibliography - can encourage community discussion Examples Robert Trotter reports on 378 Mexican Americans who were asked to list home remedies and what illness each remedy was for Free-list data reveals a lot about Mexican American perceptions of illness and home cures -Four main behavior groups were found to have "good consistency" in dictating healthful behaviors
- Lifestyle
- How you eat
- Exercise
- Positive foods -These groups may be new potential starting points for designing intervention materials in this population assesses ways that people conceive of and think about the world
links human thought processes and culture example of three pile sorting: Hannah Clarke, Chaney Manganello, Kelly Gorman, Chris Snook Brief History Free listing has been a commonly used technique for cultural studies throughout much of anthropology's history. Its use in social studies can be traced back to Franz Boas, the "father of modern anthropology," who used this technique to study Eskimo culture. Other early anthropologists used free listing to learn more about kinship systems. Bernard, H. Russell. "Structured Interviewing II: Cultural Domain Analysis." Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira, 2002. 303. Print.

Bernard HR. 2002. Research methods in anthropology. Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, CA.

Borgatti, Stephen P., and Daniel S. Halgin. "Chapter 1: Elicitation Techniques for Cultural Domain Analysis." N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.steveborgatti.com/papers/bhetk.pdf>.

"ERNWACA : Excerpts from Guides on Qualitative Research." ERNWACA : Excerpts from Guides on Qualitative Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://www.ernwaca.org/panaf/RQ/en/participative.php>.

"Free Lists." Medanth. N.p., 2012. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://medanth.wikispaces.com/Free%20Lists>.

Giovanni, Peter. "How to Carry out Pile Sorting and How to Analyse the Data with Anthropac: A Tutorial." Research and Consultancy in Ethnobotany. N.p., 2009. Web. 1 Dec. 2012. <http://petergiovannini.com/ethnobotany-methods/how-to-pile-sorting-with-anthropac-tutorial.html>

Konaté, Mamadou K., and Abdoulaye Sidibé. "ERNWACA : Excerpts from Guides on Qualitative Research." ERNWACA : Excerpts from Guides on Qualitative Research. ROCARE/ERNWACA, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.ernwaca.org/panaf/RQ/en/participative.php>.

QUINTILIANI, LISA M., et al. "The use of the Pile Sort Method in Identifying Groups of Healthful Lifestyle Behaviors among Female Community College Students." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 108.9 (2008): 1503-7. Print.

Trotter, Robert T. "Remedios Caseros: Mexican American Home Remedies and Community Health Problems." Social Science & Medicine. Part B, Medical Anthropology 15.2 (1981): 107-14. Web. 3 Dec. 2012. <http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/rtt/pdf%20format%20pubs/Trotter%201980s%20pdf%20Pubs/Remedios%20Caseros%20in%20Soc%20Sci%20Med%201981.pdf>.

Weller, S.C. & Romney, A.K. 1988 Systematic Data Collection. Newbury Park, Calif: Sage Publications.

"What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Methods Which Can Be Used for Investigation and Action Planning?" IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. N.p., 28 Nov. 2005. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. <http://www.irc.nl/page/7782>.

Wilson, Chauncey. "Designing the User Experience at Autodesk." 'Designing the User Experience at Autodesk' N.p., 13 Jan. 2011. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://dux.typepad.com/dux/2011/01/this-is-the-third-in-a-series-of-100-short-articles-about-ux-design-and-evaluation-methods-todays-method-is-called-freeli.html>. - time consuming

- requires well trained individuals to facilitate

- difficult to document results making this costly in time and money

- difficult to collect data from non-literate informants free listing helps to identify the items within a domain that pile sorting will study and sort into various groups of data. connection to
free listing: the pile sorting method there are 2 ways to analyze data:

computer: this can be fast, but requires trained individuals and knowledge of a special software (ANTHROPAC)

by hand: this is very tedious and will not always be as accurate as using a computer data collection!! analysis of data!! participants are given set of cards/items and asked to divide them by groups (similar items together)

participants can place as many cards as they want in a group subgroups can be formed from these initial groups, but it is not always done (depends on specific type of pile sorting you are doing)

participants are asked to explain criteria used for sorting and are asked to name each group - good for breaking the ice and initiating discussions about sensitive issues - study participants are forced to think analytically about the issue which will lead them to initiate change from within when to use pile sorting: - in order to initiate change in a culture that the researcher is not a part of
- by having participants be members of the culture, they become educated and are more effective at making change than outside researchers - because this method of research is so personal, is very helpful when studying sensitive issues since people are more willing to open up Examples: Food Aid Program:
Researchers used free listing to determine which foods were culturally acceptable for infants and mothers in Tarahumara, Mexico to consume Exploring Explanatory Models of Women's Reproductive Health in Rural Bangladesh:
Ross et al. used free listing along with pile sorting and severity ratings to identify reproductive illnesses and perceptions of illness among Bangladeshi women.
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