The importance of unlearning

At the end of a very good article that defines the ever-elusive “insights” that we seek as qualitative researchers, is an interesting couple of paragraphs related to the importance of “unlearning.”  I’ve copied those paragraphs below and hope they will stimulate your thinking.  To see hte entire article, go to:

Kathy Sierra in her blog Creating Passionate Users discusses unlearning.

“Yes, we’re under pressure to learn more and to learn quickly, but the future goes to those who can unlearn faster than the rest, because you can’t always learn something new until you first let go of something else. And learning to let go of rules is one of the first things we (and our managers) have to learn to be quicker at.

Sometimes that means letting go of something that served you well for a long time.”

Qualitative Research is changing, as we work through how we engage people in a more “authentic” way. The recession means we literally cannot afford to do what we have done in the past. We will need to “unlearn” both how we construct methodologies as well as how we analyse and interpret meaning. And maybe there are other things we have to unlearn as well?

One Comment
  1. “Unlearning” is not the best word to describe what is needed. Our world is increasingly complex and requires multiple points of data/views to make decisions. I suggest that the other phrase the author used, “letting go” is more appropriate.
    I look forward to reading others’ views on this on this blog.

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