Mind maps may provide a new means to gather unsolicited data through qualitative research designs. In this paper, I explore the utility of mind maps through a project designed to uncover the experiences of Latvians involved in a legal technical assistance project. Based on a sample of 19 respondents, the depth and detail of the responses between the groups were compared. Those who first completed mind maps identified a greater number of unique concepts and provided more in depth responses about their experience in later interviews. Participants suggested that by first completing a mind map, they were better able to recall, organize, and frame their reflections of past experience. The findings of this analysis of using mind maps provide a justification for more detailed exploration about the utility of mind maps for qualitative research designs.


Mind Maps, Data Gathering, Qualitative Research, and Legal Technical Assistance


I would like to thank Simon Verdun-Jones, Bill Glackman, and Jacqueline Faubert for their assistance and support. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of the editors and reviewers at TQR and especially Sally St. George. Her comments, advice and attention to detail have significantly strengthened this paper.

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