Anthropology and Pile Sorting Techniques

by | Oct 24, 2022 | Methods, Qualitative Research | 0 comments

DIY Pile Sorting?

Are you planning on using qualitative data collection techniques? Find out what a pile sort is, why it’s used in business development research, how to do a pile sort, and other sample contextual studies. Use pile sorting for user research in business development and organization.

Use of Pile Sorting Techniques

Anthropologists use qualitative data collection methods to study human behavior in naturalistic settings. This type of research is used to understand how people interact with their environment and how they make decisions. One way anthropologists organize qualitative data is through pile sorting.

Pile sorting is a method of categorizing objects into groups based on their similarity. This technique is often used in business development research strategies to understand how decisions are made and to assist leadership in making decisions.

Pile Sorting in Action

For example, when implementing a group discussion of any kind, you might collect information from each individual and categorize it. When practiced, this strategy can contribute to participant buy-in and combining ideas to result in an acceptable compromise where each person actually feels heard.

How to Do a Pile Sort

You might think of pile sort a little like preparing your laundry. There are common factors that contribute to a pile development as you go. As you analyse the data you find you have heavy blue jeans and silk blue shirts. These two need their own piles. Then there are the whites that need bleach and those that do not.

Similarly, to do a pile sort, the researcher first collects a variety of data from participants that require sorting. These objects can be anything from products to photos to pieces of paper with words on them, depending upon the goal of the meeting. The participants are then given a set amount of time to sort the objects into groups. After the sorting is complete, the researcher interviews participants about their process and what they were thinking as they sorted the objects. This information is then integrated into conclusions.

Purpose of Pile Sorting

Pile sorting is a valuable qualitative data collection technique because it allows researchers to understand how people make decisions. Results can be applied immediately to improve products, develop marketing strategies, and even design better office spaces. Pile sorting is a versatile method that can be used in a variety of business development contexts.

If you’re interested in using pile sorting for your next research project, contact GHL Research Solutions. We offer a wide range of business development research services, including qualitative data collection and analysis. Our team of experienced analysts, anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists can help you solve real-world business challenges in the US and abroad.

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