Encyclopedia Entry

Constant Comparison

Phyllis Noerager Stern

Constant comparison is the process used by the researcher in the collection and analysis of data for a grounded theory. It is the term used by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss in their 1967 book, The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Glaser and Strauss described the research method they called “grounded theory,” so named because the end product, or theory, is grounded in data. The method involves a social psychological examination of a social scene. This entry describes the process of constant comparison and the functions of record keeping, coding, comparison with existing literature, and sorting as elements in the development of a grounded theory. Constant comparison is vital to every action in the process of developing a grounded theory. It could be said that it is the essence of the method. Constant comparison can be thought of as a qualitative approach that resembles the quantitative methods of factor analysis or ...

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