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Qualitative Research Methodology

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Imogen Catterall

on 13 March 2013

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Transcript of Qualitative Research Methodology

Qualitative research
Methodology: Interviews: Observations: Sampling techniques: Observer bias: Triangulation: Generalizability: Researcher Bias: Reflexivity: Sampling techniques: Sampling techniques: Triangulation: Researcher Bias: Case Studies: Random sampling is not typically a viable approach when the total number of cases to be selected is small. Hence attention to purposive modes of sampling is needed. The researcher may have preconceived ideas and
so therefore conformation bias may be an issue.
This could affect the analysis of the data which
leads to bad researcher triangulation. Especially in
longitudinal studies the researcher may form
a relationship with the participant which could
also affect the analysis of data. Method triangulation is often good within
case studies because they are usually
longitudinal and can involve many other methods like interviews within them.
Researcher triangulation is often poor in case studies because often there is only one researcher, so including more than one and getting others to peer review findings would improve this. Samples for Interviews will often be convenience
Random samples are unlikely as interviews are often for a specific purpose/intention. Narrative interviews would often be selected purposefully as the researcher would be wanting to gain in depth knowledge about a specific person. Whilst analyzing data, researchers could take their own opinions into consideration. This means that the data is blurred with their views and not objective but subjective to their personal beliefs. Researchers could show reflexivity by looking at the faults in how they conducted the research, conclusions from the findings should be highlighted as potentially bias to show reflexivity from the researcher. Narrative interviews would not be suitable to
generalize because of the individuality and uniqueness
of each case.
Semi-structured, depending on the circumstances
are more generalizable.
Focus groups have different perspectives from a
range of people so have the most generalizability,
although social desirability bias is a key aspect to
consider when analyzing the data and drawing
conclusions. Convenience and purposive samples would
be most useful for observations. A convenience sample is simply one in which the researcher uses any subjects that are available to participate in the research study. This would be good for observations as it can eliminate an aspect of researcher bias. Purposive is a type of non-probability sampling technique. Non-probability sampling focuses on sampling techniques based on the judgement of the researcher. In participant observations the objectivity may be affected as the observations are being made by someone who is also participating in the activity. This can also lead to the researcher becoming too involved in the research which can lead to their views being subjective. Triangulation needs to be considered thoroughly by the researcher because it can easily be overlooked. It would improve the credibility/trustworthiness of the research if more than one researcher observed the research as this increases the credibility of conclusions. Also if more than one source is used, this increases the method triangulation. A research method involving an in-depth and detailed study of an individual or a particular group.This method is often applied to unusual or valuable examples of behavior which may provide important insights into psychological function or reputation of psychological theory.
we study them out of interest for their own sake.
Carried out in order to describe, explain or build theory around phenomenon that occurs with some frequency. Participant expectations: There may be social desirability bias where the participant tries to guess the aims of the researcher to please them, or on the contrary the screw you effect where they may deliberately try and ruin their data. Credibility: If the researcher has a bias view
then this could affect the analysis of data and so they may not consider the depth and bredth of the information gathered. The conclusions need
to be believable and detailed descriptions of context and methods but also acknowledgment of potential sources of bias. Reflexivity: If the researcher shows reflexivity then it improves the validity. If a relationship between the participant and the researcher forms then this could cause more researcher bias or participant expectations. Ethical Considerations: Confidentiality is vital in case studies, participants should be kept anonymous - Use pseudonyms/ initials and no personal details disclosed. Case studies can also be damaging to participants both mentally and physically so this shows the importance of informed consent and the right to withdraw. Generalizability: Case studies are good for providing insight into unique and individual phenomena. There is no need to generalize intrinsic case studies as we study them out of interest for their own sake. However instrumental case studies are carried out in order to describe, explain or build theory around phenomenon that occurs with some frequency. Findings from this type are expected to have relevance to other cases. Semi-structured:
- Basic structure but deviation from the question allowed, this is useful to clarify/explore beyond the topic first given.
Focus Group:
- Small number of people engaged in an informed group decision focused on a particular issue/topic.
- Interviewee talks about a topic in a narrative way, like a story. Participant Expectations: Pressure on participants in interviews makes them want to impress makes the social desirability bias high. Triangulation: To improve reliability, more than one researcher could analyze the data. Another method could be used in order to compliment the interviews, like a survey. The interviews could be analyzed in
different ways (transcript, audio/video
tape.) Ethical Considerations: If the interviews are transcribed/taped then the data needs to be made anonymous and any personal details removed. Once the research is finished the data should be destroyed to protect confidentiality. The participants must be made aware that they can withdraw at any point and they should be made to feel comfortable in their surroundings. - Controlled/Naturalistic:
Artificially constructed situation/
In the environment they occur.
- Participant/Non-participant:
Observations made by someone
participating/Someone who is not.
- Covert/Overt:
Participants don't know they're being
observed/They know they are. Participant expectations: This is more prominent depending on the type of observation. In an overt observation where the participant knows they are being watched this could lead to the Hawthorne effect. Participants are more likely to act like they usually would if the observation is naturalistic. Credibility: The credibility is good in observations because of the internal validity. The time spent observing participants means that the researcher can take into account any data that may be seen to be anomalous. Reflexivity: The researcher should reflect on how their personal beliefs could have influenced the research and how the research has affected them personally and professionally. They also need to think about the ways in which knowledge has been generated in the study. Ethical considerations: If the observation is covert, the researcher needs to think about the risk of deception, informed consent and the right to withdraw. Confidentiality is also important as participants need to be made anonymous. Generalizability: Instrumental observations are easier to generalize than intrinsic. It also depends on the sample size, as to generalize it needs to be representative of the group as a whole you are generalizing to.
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