Commentaries on “An intervention-based abductive approach to generating testable theory”

Frank Kardes, Eileen Fischer, Stephen Spiller, Aparna Labroo, Melissa Bublitz, Laura Peracchio, Joel Huber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper assembles five comments on Janiszewski and van Osselaer's (this issue) article that promotes abductive research as a way to generate new psychological theory. The review process began by asking those making comments to be part of collaborative communication between themselves and Janiszewski and van Osselaer. The five comments arising from that process provide well-honed insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the abductive research. The first commentary, by Frank Kardes, offers convincing evidence showing that the techniques of abductive thinking are similar to other explorative techniques currently being successfully used in deductive research. Eileen Fischer sees abductive thinking as integral to inductive and qualitative thinking as it facilitates the generation of new constructs and remaps established ones. Stephen Spiller explores the implication of starting from interesting and paradoxical data rather than from established theory. The research challenge then requires a focus on strategic sampling of methods, responses, and critical constructs that confirm or limit a provisional theory. Aparna Labroo articulates the benefits of abductive thinking to help resolve complex practical problems, but warns against the proliferation of multiple findings that may be difficult to validate. Finally, Bublitz and Peracchio celebrate the value of abductive research to help resolve social issues and enable the fruitful merger of publishable research with personal social action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-207
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing


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