General knowledge claims in qualitative research.

The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of how general knowledge claims sometimes are misunderstood in qualitative research in psychology. A general suggestion is made regarding how general knowledge as a criterion of science could be epistemologically grounded using a phenomenological theory of science. General knowledge claims are seen from the epistemic relation of meaning as context dependent, that is, as the figure—ground relation between phenomena appearing in a given context. Population research design is critically assessed to elucidate how we take its general mode of thinking for granted in qualitative research. The distinction between the phenomenon versus the population serves as the foundation for the overall argument against an often one-sided empirical stance toward generalizations in psychological science. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)