Authenticizing the Research Process

Nora Elizondo-Schmelkes, MA, Ph.D. Candidate


This study reflects the main concern of students (national and international) who are trying to get a postgraduate degree in a third world (or “in means of development”) country. The emergent problem found is that students have to finish their thesis or dissertation but they do not really know how to accomplish this goal. They resolve this problem by authenticizing the process as their own. The theory of authenticizing involves compassing their way to solve the problem of advancing in the research process. Compassing allows the student to authenticize his/her research process, making it a personal and „owned. process. The main categories of compassing are the intellectual, physical and emotional dimension patterns that the student has, learns and follows in order to finish the project and get a degree. Authenticizing implies to author with authenticity their thesis or dissertation. Compassing allows them to do this in their own way, at their own pace or time and with their own internal resources, strengths and weaknesses.


In Mexico, many postgraduate students finish their programs but never get a degree because they don’t finish a research project. The percentage of this happening is much higher in third world or developing countries, where there is a graduation ratio from as low as 2% to 21%, creating an average in the last ten years of 16%. In first world countries, this ratio goes from 31% to 64%, creating an average for the same period of 40% (World Bank, (WB), 2007). This contributes to the fact that the level of education in third world countries is lower. The lack of development in third world countries is partly because lower education implies a lack of researchers. Out of the top 100 research universities, 99 are in first world countries. Regarding knowledge flows, 93% of the published articles in the past five years come from first world countries (Guardian, 2010).

I was invited to work as a supervisor for master degree students doing their research, in order to get their degree in a third world country. Most of the students assigned to me were researchers who had not finished their thesis during the expected time and were long overdue and stuck somewhere in the process. As I had never supervised a thesis and my own thesis supervisor had not been very helpful during my research process, I tried learning about the implications of this job.

The literature that provides information on how to be a supervisor is mainly related to concepts, structure and methods. Both in English (Wisker, 2008) and in Spanish (Schmelkes, 2010), handbooks on research projects include the basics as to how to get organized and what to do when doing research. Although this information had been previously provided to the students, by teachers and supervisors, it had not been enough to help them advance in their studies. When interviewed about what it was that they needed in order to continue with their research, students themselves didn’t exactly know what it was they needed.

The population I worked with in general for this stage of the study (see methodological notes) consisted of students in different institutions, trying to get a masters degree in Mexico. Of these, 65% had spent over five years in their project. Students from other third world countries were interviewed as well and all complained about the same thing: no time, no knowledge of how to write a thesis, or how to write in general. This procrastination has also been reported in Silvia (2005).

Of those students who had actually gone through the process successfully, 55% indicated that supervisors had not been much help during their research process; 35% considered their supervisors an obstacle. That left only 10% fully satisfied with the work of their supervisors.

This grounded theory study began emerging when current students started telling me what was really going on during their classes, with their teachers, supervisors and with their own research process. Their comments and inputs are the data that grounds this theory and therefore some are included as part of the text.

The Theory

Authenticizing is a pattern of behavior that explains a way of dealing with the research process by trying different ways, in all directions, in order to match true needs with musts and wants. To authenticize, the students engage in compassing through their process to finish their research process, write up a thesis or dissertation and get a degree.

As part of the authenticizing process, the student goes through three stages: Protocoling, Directing and Engaging. The student will use compassing to go from one stage to the other and to go through each stage by itself. These stages are overlapping and may be happening simultaneously. Even though one phase may be apparently finished and done with, through compassing, the student can come back to any one of them at any given time throughout the research process.

Throughout the process, the student may display resistance characterized by confusion, doubt and stress. Such resistance is necessary to the process for without confusion and doubt, there is no movement. A certain amount of uncertainty is indispensable to impulse the process. Piaget (1960) called it the „disequilibration. needed to learn (Wadsford,1996).

I was so confused after class that I was really scared. I hadn’t understood a thing. I knew I had to do something about it. I had no idea what, but I knew I couldn’t just sit and wait. I had to move. I had to do something. I had to ask someone for help… Just do something…anything.

Without resistance, the student may be absorbed by a lack of interest and become stuck in the process or lose focus.

I couldn’t understand a thing he was saying so I started browsing through the net…I figured eventually I was going to have to work on it so I’d wait ’till I really had to do something about it… In the mean time, I could work on something else…

How a student handles resistance as they compass through the authenticizing process largely determines whether they will continue, will be delayed or not even finish. Resistance is handled differently, depending on where the student may be in the overall process.

The core category: compassing

Compassing is characterized by three dimensions: intellectual, physical and emotional (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Compassing categories [please see PDF version for all figures]

Intellectual patterns are the most frequent. Since writing up a thesis or a dissertation is an intellectual process per se, these patterns also seem to present the least resistance. With intellectual patterns, the mind is the main active element. Structures, concepts, explanations, revising the literature, methodology, complying with correct bibliographic references are all examples of intellectual patterns. Words like know, understand and explain dominate intellectual patterns.

I knew exactly what I wanted but I couldn’t understand what she wanted. Finally I asked her to explain the structure again and show me exactly how, I wanted to learn more… still couldn’t understand so I tried explaining it to her…finally I did it the way I knew how…

Students are constantly asking questions, trying to understand, reading, conceptualizing and planning. They are accustomed to receiving intellectual patterns as advice; that is, their supervisors, advisors and teachers usually build up their „help. tools within these patterns. As intellectual patterns are mainly in the mind and have to do with analyzing and rationalizing, much of the work is „intangible and therefore does not materialize as a project, much less as a final report, thesis or dissertation.

Physical patterns have to do with concrete actions and products. Doing is the main element during these patterns. Sitting down and actually writing, sleeping, getting distracted by exercising, going to the movies or printing chapters are patterns that students were following that belong to the physical dimension.

Every time I saw how much I had written and my document getting bigger I did more. I felt like I was being productive. I was on the right track.

The rhythm in which physical patterns emerge is usually faster than intellectual patterns and more intense.

I was so bored. I couldn’t relate. I tried but it was tiring to listen and all I could hear was blah blah blah. I couldn’t even participate…

Emotional patterns are related to feelings emerging due to the research process; whether uncomfortable like confusion, stress and doubt, or comfortable such as accomplishment, recognition and satisfaction. In these patterns, companionship and being aware of the feeling was the outstanding element.

I wanted her to tell me if I was right or wrong. When she said I was doing fine I was so excited. It was very meaningful to receive her comments that I was involved with such enthusiasm. She was always there for me, her accompaniment made me feel good, like I was never alone.

Compassing implies going from one dimension to the other trying to balance what is needed. As dimensions of human kind (mind, body and spirit), none of us can escape having the three kinds of patterns (intellectual, physical and emotional). There is, however, a predilection in which we compass ourselves into authenticizing. This means that there is one dimension that is more familiar to us, where we feel most comfortable. This dimension forms a vertex with the other two dimensions. One of the two other dimensions is a second pattern known or manageable and the third dimension that is the most unfamiliar to us, our ‘Achilles heel’.. The three dimensions are always present; they happen constantly, separately, subsequently and simultaneously.

Every person has these three dimensions present at all times and life itself is a process of compassing. The vocabulary a person uses will evidence the type of pattern he or she finds most comfortable. If the person has a very marked predominant pattern, it may create an obstacle in compassing because resistance toward the other dimensions will increase and the compassing movement will be hampered. For example an predominantly intellectual pattern means the person might read a lot, think up a lot of ideas or know a lot about his subject. This is all in the mind, but not on paper, the physical dimension. Therefore he/she may be stuck until he/she balances the other dimensions through compassing. The compassing process allows the person to move and become more flexible. During authentizising, compassing is persistently happening and resistance, characterized by confusion, doubt and stress, is constantly present as the main property of each stage of the research process but also as characteristics that allow compassing as well. Resistance is handled according to the predominant pattern (dimension) of the student.

Compassing implies the shifting process, dealing with resistance, the confusion, doubts and stress that accompany it, and is usually driven by making a decision. Consciously or unconsciously, the student will be faced with taking a choice. If he/she chooses to stay in the known pattern (dimension), resistance will persist. If the choice implies moving, compassing is set in motion and resistance will be handled with toward the next stage or toward a decision to be made within the same stage where he/she is.

The stages

Both compassing and counter-acting resistance are present during the three stages of the research process: Protocoling, Directing and Engaging.

Protocoling stage

The initial protocoling stage begins the moment the student learns he/she has to write a thesis or dissertation and therefore has to pick a topic, define a study or determine which area he or she is interested in researching. The requirement to develop a protocol for their research project can trigger resistance with its properties of confusion, doubt and stress.

I am completely lost, I have no idea what I am going to do and what is expected of me. I have never done this before, I’m not even sure I can do it…I’m thinking maybe getting into this program wasn’t really a good idea. Maybe this isn’t for me.

The lack of direction found at this stage may very well contribute to confusion. For someone unable to handle confusion, the initial decision may be to abort the “getting a degree” mission; leaving without finishing the thesis or dissertation. Confusion is always accompanied with stress and doubts. If the confusion is too much to handle, stress and doubts may be so intense that a lack of self confidence may be experienced as well, and it is possible that anxiety takes over.

It is just too much. I just can’t handle it and I still don’t know what she (the supervisor) wants from me. It’s not worth it. So what if I don’t have a degree?

Due to this state of confusion, there is a lack of focus in this phase; that is, the main focus at this point is not getting the degree but rather just trying to make initial smaller decisions about the area, topic, method to be used, literature or even just about the classes and homework that must be complied with. If the student is able to make those initial decisions, even if slowly, he/she is able to go to the next stage.

At last I knew that was exactly what I really wanted to do my research in and that gave me a little ease. Even though I had no idea what was next, I felt calm.

Every time the student is faced with a situation where a choice needs to be made, resistance will appear, whether it’s a simple choice like sitting down to work, or a harder choice like which methodology to use for the study.

The origin of resistance may be external or internal. External resistance has to do with anything in the environment; expectations from others, work, friends, family, resources or even an event such as a hurricane. Their predominant dimension (intellectual, physical or emotional) will determine how intense the resistance will be. For example, a student with a predominantly emotional pattern may be very affected by what others expect from him/her, whereas one with an predominantly intellectual pattern may rationalize such expectations and not give them much weight. In other words, external effects create resistances that will also find a spot in the internal patterns where one might feel stressed over work (an emotional pattern) or one might be excited into doing it (as part of a physical pattern). What comes from the outside is situated in one of the three dimensions, it is “taken as own” and then works as an internal resistance.

I don’t have enough time. I have a lot of work and lately I’ve been out of town a lot so it’s hard for me to sit down and focus on it.

Internal resistance comes from within and therefore has to do mainly with beliefs, ideas, feelings and thoughts.

I felt everything I did was wrong. Nothing right. Every time I talked to him he would confuse me even more and I just kept feeling incapable

Regardless of how they are patterned, internally and externally originated resistances are “taken as own”; stealing focus away from making decisions by hampering compassing. The intellectually patterned student will find more resistance in the doing and the feeling; the physically patterned student will find resistance from the intellectual and emotional dimensions; and, the emotionally patterned student will establish resistance in the physical and the intellectual dimensions. Through compassing, the student is able to move from a comfortable „known. dimension to balancing the three patterns. Resistance is faced and the student is moved toward making a decision. Focus is regained through compassing with the student able to make genuine self-sufficient decisions and choices. When the decision or choice taken is made consciously, authenticizing emerges as the student „authors. the research process with autonomy and authenticity.

Obeying is also part of authenticizing and is determined by the way the student has to comply with certain guidelines for the required research protocol. In this matter, there is usually not a lot of choice to act differently. It is considered part of something they “have to do and is ok with it”. If resistance, internal or external, emerges within the obligated requirements, or if the student is “not ok with it,” the protocol stage is obstructed creating a delay and causing the student to momentarily lose focus. Once focus is regained through compassing, the decisions necessary to continue the process are taken.

Directing stage

Making decisions gives direction to the research process. This direction comes from compassing. Where in the protocol stage, compassing is still very unfamiliar and in the engaging stage it happens with fluidity, in this stage, compassing is most present and intense during this stage. Compassing leads to authenticizing the research process.

Authenticizing is authoring this process with autonomy and authenticity. The student compasses to balance his or her intellectual, physical and emotional dimensions through identifying what he/she needs in order to „get it done., to solve the main concern: finish the thesis or dissertation and get the degree. In authenticizing, the student sets his or her signature to his/her own, genuine, personal process. Compassing, in order to authenticize, is the process that allows him/her to make decisions or choices in order to continue his/her own and owned process.

Obeying, however, is also found in this stage. Here it has more to do with a decision or choice rather than something pre-established that has to be met or complied with. Students who solve their main concern by obeying use obedience as part of the authenticizing. In other words, their way to authenticize is by compassing according to external expectations or demands, not always being aware of what they want or need but rather complying to the needs and wants of others, such as their supervisor. These studnets usually present more emotional patterns. In such cases, their autonomy lies in their emotional being, which is what they author.

I wanted to feel I was doing the right thing. When I did what he told me, he would be happy and that would make me happy.

Intellectuals obey basically because of mind issues: “it made sense”: physicals because of doing issues: “I just wanted to get it over with”; and, emotionals because of feeling issues: they “feel recognized” or it simply makes them “feel good.” As the directing stage progresses, a sense of responsibility emerges from a deeper and more meaningful perspective; a responsibility for owning the process with it, an inner force that pushes the process forward.

Engaging stage

This stage is characterized mainly by learning and persistence. Learning in its holistic sense, implies being open to receive, search and accept new ways often bursting expectations, beliefs, ideas and paradigms. Engaging implies taking the challenge, making decisions and being flexible and doing so with motivation and a sense of intention. Trust, hope and self-confidence facilitate engaging while perseverance, determination and resolution nurture the will to reach the goal.

Once I got that, it was as if someone had turned the light on and I could see! Everything made sense. Everything started to fall into place. It just came and everything was downhill from then.

When this stage is reached, there is a sense of pride, satisfaction and freedom; resistances appear less and decisions and choices are more easily made. The student has learned how to compass his/her way through authenticizing his/her research process. In other words, both compassing and authenticizing are now part of his/her being. If resistance, obeying or both come up during this stage, the student is now able to handle them from a self-governed or self-ruled authentic and autonomous stance. This stage creates a sense of empowerment, inspiration and confidence building.

At this point, in the engaging stage, the main concern is clearly at focus. The more the process advances, the clearer the image is and the spotlight on getting a degree becomes easier to reach. The way to get there is apparent, understandable, comprehensible and accessible. Engaging now drives the process.


The existence of the three dimensions (intellectual, physical and emotional) is something known since the ancient Greeks. As explained by Adler (1978), Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) viewed men as the maker, the doer and the knower. In all three of these dimensions, man is always a thinker, but the kind of thinking is different in each: as a maker, it is productive thinking, as a doer, it is practical thinking and as a knower, it is theoretical thinking. Each also has a value in concern.

When matched to the theory emerged, the physical being is man as the maker. He is constantly attracted to doing, making or producing something in the material or physical world, whether it’s an art piece or an activity like writing a dissertation. Although it might be confusing because of the terminology, the doer is actually the emotional being, for he/she is attracted by what is felt when doing in relation to another human being or society. The knower is clearly the intellectual being. He/she is attracted to everything related to knowledge.

Ever since the early Greek philosophers, man has been studied as a being of three dimensions: the mind, the body and the spirit. The word spirit has many different connotations but all have one thing in common: they are non-corporal. In this study only the emotional part of the human being is considered as the non-corporal part of man. So, the intellectual dimension represents the mind, the physical represents the body and the emotional represents the spirit. Man in three dimensions.

Further and previous philosophers focused on different aspects around these three dimensions. However, they all agree on certain facts: that they are undeniable, present at all times and codependent, that is, one cannot exist without the other. There are exceptions, such as in certain health conditions, but man has to deal with the three dimensions at the same time at all times.

Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy or educational movement or practice focused on values and concerns of the human being, therefore coherent with the theory emerged. For humanism, the primary task that a human has is to become oneself, to be what he really is. Compassing allows the student the freedom to become him/herself during the research process and increase the capability of awareness and be conscious of him/herself. It leads him/her to authenticizing his/her research process.

Among the areas where humanism is current, psychology, philosophy and education, are of academic relevance to the process a student goes through when developing a thesis or dissertation for this study is of academic nature.

Although teaching was traditionally the focus of education, learning has become the main concern in the last decades. Teaching has evolved from traditional behavioral methods to more constructivist, student oriented methods. Kolb (1981, 1984), developed a learning style model emphasizing the importance of experiential learning. The model is based on two axes. On one end of the vertical axis is the abstraction of concepts and on the other end is the concrete experience; on the horizontal axis, at one end, reflective observation and on the other, active experimentation. These four points categorize learning styles as converger, diverger, assimilator and accommodator.

Honey and Mumford (1982) took these same axes but modified the theory by naming the concrete experience as active (they do) and the abstraction of concepts as theorists (they conclude). On the horizontal, they named the reflective observation as reflectors (they review) and the active experimentation as pragmatics (they plan) with the four learning styles identified as reflective theorist, reflective activist, pragmatic theorist and pragmatic activist.

Certain aspects of these models fit the compassing theory and similarities can be found. We can identify the intellectual patterns in all of the styles. This illustrates the emphasis on intellectual patterns. The physical dimension is also considered in the doing and in the concrete experience. However, the emotional patterns are the most difficult to identify. This is characteristic of education over the past century where an intellectual pattern has been predominant. Analysis, conceptualization and knowledge are valued and therefore education has focused on such tasks.

Bloom, Krathwohl, and Bertram (1956, 1964), however, were among the first to use the three dimensions to create an educational theory by naming three domains in a taxonomy – commonly referred to as Bloom’s taxonomy – of educational objectives: cognitive, affective and psychomotor. This theory clearly fits with the concept of compassing.

The cognitive domain corresponds to the intellectual dimension. It “includes those objectives which deal with the recall or recognition of knowledge and the development of intellectual abilities and skills” (1956, p.7). As in this study the intellectual patterns were more and more frequently found. Bloom also mentions that this domain is “in which most of the work in curriculum development has taken place and where the clearest definitions of objectives are to be found” (1956, p.7) and that “the largest proportion of educational objectives fell into this domain” (1964, p.6). Most of the western education systems have been based in the intellectual dimension, that is, in having to do with the development of knowledge. This domain implies the “remembering and reproducing of something which has presumably been learned, as well as objectives which involve the solving of some intellective task for which the individual has to determine the essential problem and then reorder given material or combine it with ideas, methods, or procedures previously learned” (1964, p.6). A thesis or dissertation fits as an intellective task that falls into these implications and therefore the domain itself, which justifies the fact that the most encountered patterns emerging in this study were the intellectual ones.

The affective domain of Bloom’s taxonomy contains “objectives which emphasize a feeling tone, an emotion, or a degree of acceptance or rejection” (1964, p.7). These kinds of objectives are expressed as “interest, attitudes, values, and the development of appreciations and adequate adjustment” (1956, p.7); as well as emotional sets or biases, all of which must have emotions and feelings. This clearly refers to the emotional dimension. “It is through feelings, which are inwardly directed and private, that emotions, which are outwardly directed and public, begin their impact on the mind…” (Damasio, 1999, p.36), becoming observable changes in behaviors or attitudes and including the cognitive domain as well. Like compassing, this shows how the emotional, intellectual and physical dimensions coexist and influence each other.

The third domain of Bloom’s taxonomy is the psychomotor dimension, which includes the motor skill area; that is, objectives that emphasize muscular manipulation of material objects. Activities that require neuromuscular coordination are part of this domain; clearly mapping to the physical dimension of this theory. Bloom et al. (1962) found that these objectives were rarely found in literature and most of them were related to handwriting, speech and to physical education, as well as trade and technical courses. In this study, most of the representations found of this domain had to do with the physical creation of the written work or the thesis or dissertation.

As an educational process, compassing facilitates personal equilibrium and enables awareness. The word education comes from the Latin “educare” which means: “to draw out/lead out/bring up” (UND, 2010). The development of awareness enables the student to author the thesis or dissertation with autonomy and authenticity; thus authenticizing the process.

Autonomy comes from the Greek “auto” meaning self and “nomos” meaning law becoming one who laws or rules oneself (University of Notre Dame, 2010). Philosophers applied this concept referring to the capacity that man has to make in-coerced decisions usually made rationally, although “reason does not require that autonomy be abandoned, only that its balance with other individual and communal values be restored” (Gayling and Jennings, 1996, p.5) and autonomy has been considered the basis for establishing moral responsibility over one’s decisions and actions, implying they are done in a way that shows independence. Autonomy also implies the realization of our potential as human beings. Behind it stands “a particular vision of what it means to be a human individual, a self, and a vision of what social relationships and arrangements ought to be to nurture that self” (Gayling & Jennings, 1996, p.6). Humanism supports the idea of autonomy for it promotes the search, from within the self, for moral and creative potentials to make one’s own decisions and taking responsibility for them (Rogers, 1974).

Authenticity, in the existentialist philosophical theory based on Sartre, refers to the particular way of being faithful to internal ideas rather than depending on external ones. It implies how the person deals with the external environment, including ideas, pressure, culture or any other influence received from the otherness, that is, everything and everyone outside his/her conscious self. From Erichs. Fromm (1900-1980) psychological point of view, authenticity refers to how the person comes to terms with situations in life from his/her own true inner needs rather than from demands or expectations from the otherness. It is also a term used for the philosophy of art (aesthetics), referring to the faithfulness of the author or artist to his/her work of art. In this sense, the thesis or dissertation is the researcher’s work of art.

In these different approaches and conceptions, the independent self is the main character and the focus is on respecting and following the inner self. Authenticity represents one way of the self acting in response to the outside world. Through compassing, the student can balance the intellectual, physical and emotional dimensions into an awareness and consciousness of him/herself that leads to authenticizing the research process.

Methodological Notes

As a grounded theorist, I was immersed in this study both as an instrument and an analyst of the data. I myself found out how I had gone through the process of my research in order to get my degree in a third world country and this led me directly to grounded theory. I found this method actually favors authenticizing the research process, that is, it allows freedom to author and create, from my own autonomy.

When I learned that grounded theory recommends no previous literature review and no preconceptions of the problem (Glaser, 1998), I was relieved. I did not have to unlearn much because I had found very little literature on the way students go through or live their research process. Most of the literature referred to the “writing a dissertation process”; the how’s and what’s rather than the students. process when doing so. I wanted to observe their journey.

This study had several data collecting stages. The first stage started in a small institution in which I work. All students were Mexicans studying in Mexico. In this stage, I interviewed the last three generations of alumni in order to find out what had helped them during their research process. I also asked my current students to write up a journal in which they included everything they were going through related to their research and methodology classes during the duration of their research process. The students I was supervising were also asked to write a journal. The information from the interviews and the journals was analyzed with open coding to look for emerging indicators, categories and patterns.

During the second stage the data were collected from alumni and students in different postgraduate levels at other universities in Mexico. The third stage included international students getting their postgraduate degree in Mexico and Mexican students doing an international fellowship but getting their degree in Mexico. The last stage included virtual interviewing of students in other third world countries getting a degree in their own country and international students getting a degree in a third world country other than Mexico.

During all three stages the data collected were constantly compared with previous indicators, patterns and categories found. There was an openness to receive what was actually happening (Glaser, 1978). Whatever was found was modified or refitted as new relevant patterns emerged. As theoretical sampling was done, indicators became interchangeable, patterns were conceptualized into categories and memos were constantly written. This process was done constantly and recurrently during the three stages of data collecting until the point of saturation where no new categories were emerging (Glaser, 2001). Memos about indicators, concepts, and properties were constantly written then memos about memos began to emerge until eventually saturation was reached. The sorting of memos began and it was possible to visualize the theory as a whole.

After the theory had emerged, an additional stage of comparison was made through talking with international students who participated in grounded theory seminars outside their country. Although none of these students were getting a degree in a third world country, the data collected fit well with the emergent theory of authenticizing.

Implications and Limitations

This theory is a latent lesson: whether we are aware of it or not, compassing is always there. Once the compassing process emerged before my eyes, I could see it everywhere. I spotted it in everything I did myself and I found it in every person I met. One way or another, I encountered people who were going through a process where they needed compassing in order to authenticize what they were doing or deciding. Whether it was just to make a simple decision or a life changing experience, patients, clients, students, friends, family and colleagues were compassing their way through life.

Although a limitation of this study lies in the fact that it was directed to third world countries, as an international student, I have seen it happen in other countries as well. However, this grounded theory is by no means finished but rather open to new data to be compared, analyzed and integrated to it. This theory is modifiable and expandable not only in itself but also for other fields and areas of study.

This paper deals only with the students. personal inner process by itself during the research process. However, the implications for practice of this theory may cover the process of the supervisor and the development of a relational model applied to supervising a research process. The implications for practice of this theory are not limited to the research process but rather applicable to any decision making process. In understanding how it is we make decisions through compassing we can broaden our horizons in understanding ourselves and our relationships.


Research is a voluntary burden. We are willingly immersed in it, so might as well make it pleasurable. Authenticizing enables us to make the research process our own creation. It implies the authenticity of an artist creating a new masterpiece, and the autonomy of the person authoring such creation. Authenticizing is a human social behavior that is implied in every attitude we have. We are constantly making decisions in everyday life. Compassing is a process that is continuously taking place in every decision we make.

Authenticizing implies an awareness of our self and a consciousness of our being, developed through compassing our undeniable human dimensions: the intellectual, physical and emotional dimensions of our existence; not only in authenticizing the research process to write a thesis or dissertation, but rather a task to write our own life.


Nora Elizondo-Schmelkes, MA, Ph.D. Candidate
Autonomous University of Tamaulipas


Adler, M. (1978). Aristotle for everybody. Difficult thought made easy. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, Inc. Touchtone 1997

Bloom, B., Krathwohl, D., & Bertram, M. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives, the classification of educational goals. Handbook 1º. Cognitive domain. New York, NY: Longmans, Green and Co.

Bloom, B., Krathwohl, D., & Bertram, M. (1964). Taxonomy of educational objectives, the classification of educational goals. Handbook 2º. Affective domain. New York, NY: David McKay Company Inc.

Damasio, A. (1999). The feeling of what happens. Body and emotion in the making of consciousness. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Inc.

Gayling, W. & Jennings, B. (1996). The perversion of autonomy. New York, NY: Free Press.

Glaser B. (1978). Theoretical Sensitivity: Advances in the methodology of grounded theory. CA: Sociology Press.

Glaser, B. (1998). Doing Grounded Theory: Issues and discussions. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.

Glaser, B. (2001). The Grounded Theory Perspective: conceptualization contrasted with description. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.

Guardian (2010). The World’s Top 100 Universities. Retrieved from datablog /2010/sep/16/Honey, P. & Mumford A. (1982). The Manual of Learning Styles. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Peter Honey.

Kolb, D. (1981). Learning styles and disciplinary differences. In A.W. Chickering (ed.) The Modern American College. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Kolb, D. (1984). Experimental learning: experience as the source of learning and development. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Rogers, C. (1974). El proceso de convertirse en persona. [On becoming a person]. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Paidós.

Schmelkes, C. & Elizondo, N. (2010). Manual para la presentación de anteproyectos e informes de investigación (tesis). Tercera edición. [Handbook for the presentaron of protocols and final research papers (thesis) Third edition]. México: Editorial Oxford.

Silvia, P. (2005). How to Write a Lot. Washington, DC: APA.

University of Notre Dame. (2010). Archives. Latin dictionary and grammar aid. Retrieved from

Wadsford, B. (1996). Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive and Affective Development. Foundations of constructivism. Fifth edition. MI: Longman.

WB. World Bank. (2007). Retrieved from

Wisker, G. (2008). The Postgraduate Research Handbook. Second edition. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.