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Qualitative Research

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Alyza delos santos

on 30 September 2013

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Transcript of Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research
Qualitative research is a method of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in the social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts.
The qualitative method investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, when. Hence, smaller but focused samples are more often used than large samples.
Qualitative Research - Quantitative Research
Subjective - Objective
Phenomenological - Scientific
Anti positivist - Positivist
Descriptive - Experimental
Naturalistic - Contrived
Inductive - Deductive
Dictionary Meaning : Qualitative research , research dealing with phenomena that are difficult or impossible to quantify mathematically, such as beliefs, meanings, attributes, and symbols
The word
refers to descriptions or distinctions based on some quality or characteristic rather than on some quantity or measured value. It can be a form of analysis that yields the identity of a compound
The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

Holistic - Reductionist
Qualitative research does not introduce treatments or manipulate variables, or impose the researcher's operational definitions of variables on the participants. Rather, it lets the meaning emerge from the participants. It is more flexible in that it can adjust to the setting. Concepts, data collection tools, and data collection methods can be adjusted as the research progresses.
Qualitative research aims to get a better understanding through first hand experience, truthful reporting, and quotations of actual conversations. It aims to understand how the participants derive meaning from their surroundings, and how their meaning influences their behavior.

Qualitative research uses
as the data collection method.
Observation is the selection and recording of behaviors of people in their environment. Observation is useful for generating in-depth descriptions of organizations or events, for obtaining information that is otherwise inaccessible, and for conducting research when other methods are inadequate.
5. Participant observation is a period of intensive social interaction between the researcher and the subjects, in the latter's environment. It becomes the full-time occupation of the researcher. Participant observers are trained in techniques of observation, which distinguishes them from regular participants. Examples of participant observation include:
Casual and Scientific observation
– An observation can be sometimes casual in nature or sometimes it may act scientifically. An observation with a casual approach involves observing the right thing at the right place and also at the right time by a matter of chance or by luck whereas a scientific observation involves the use of the tools of the measurement, but a very important point to be kept in mind here is that all the observations are not scientific in nature.
Natural Observation
– Natural observation involves observing the behaviour in a normal setting and in this type of observation, no efforts are made to bring any type of change in the behavior of the observed. Improvement in the collection of the information and improvement in the environment of making an observation can be done with the help of natural observations.
Subjective and Objective observation
– All the observations consist of the two main components, the subject and the object. The subject refers to the observer whereas the object refers to the activity or any type of operation that is being observed. Subjective observation involves the observation of the one’s own immediate experience whereas the observations involving observer as an entity apart from the thing being observed, are referred to as the objective observation. Objective observation is also called as the retrospection.
Direct and Indirect observation
– With the help of the direct method of observation, one comes to know how the observer is physically present in which type of situation is he present and then this type of observation monitors what takes place. Indirect method of observation involves studies of mechanical recording or the recording by some of the other means like photographic or electronic. Direct observation is relatively more straight forward as compared to the indirect observation.
6. Structured and Unstructured observation
– Structured observation works according to a plan and involves specific information of the units that are to be observed and also about the information that is to be recorded. The operations that are to be observed and the various features that are to be noted or recorded are decided well in advance. Such observations involve the use of especial instruments for the purpose of data collection that are also structured in nature. But in the case of the unstructured observation, its basics are diametrically against the structured observation. In such observation, observer has the freedom to note down what he or she feels is correct and relevant to the point of study and also this approach of observation is very suitable in the case of exploratory research.
Controlled and Non Controlled observation
: Controlled observations are the observations made under the influence of some of the external forces and such observations rarely lead to improvement in the precision of the research results. But these observations can be very effective in the working if these are made to work in the coordination with mechanical synchronizing devices, film recording etc. Non controlled observations are made in the natural environment and reverse to the controlled observation these observations involve no influence or guidance of any type of external force.
Street corner society
Cancer patient wards
USAF training program
UFO group
Mental hospital
Alcoholics anonymous
Problems with qualitative studies include:

-more time consuming
-masses of data to transcribe
-more difficult to code data
-not applicable to widely dispersed social settings
-generally only a case study with limited applicability to other situations
-usually gives only nominal level data, difficult to quantify
-difficult to control for researcher bias
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