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Qualitative research


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Qualitative research

  1. 1. -JAISMEEN KAUR DEPARMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY PUNJABI UNIVERSITY PATIALA 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 1
  2. 2. Contents:  Introduction to qualitative research  History  Characteristics  Methods  Issues in qualitative research  Basic steps of qualitative research  Strategies for analysing  Writing the research reports  Ethics revisited 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 2
  3. 3. Introduction to Qualitative Research:  What is qualitative research? Qualitative research is a type of scientific research. In general terms, scientific research consists of an investigation that:  seeks answers to a question  systematically uses a predefined set of procedures to answer the question  collects evidence •  produces findings that were not determined in advance  produces findings that are applicable beyond the immediate boundaries of the study 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 3
  4. 4.  Qualitative research shares these characteristics. Additionally, it seeks to understand a given research problem or topic from the perspectives of the local population it involves.  Qualitative research is especially effective in obtaining culturally specific information about the values, opinions, behaviours, and social contexts of particular populations. 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 4
  5. 5. History :  Robert Bogdan in his advanced courses on qualitative research traces the history of the development of the fields, and their particular relevance to disability and including the work of his colleague Robert Edgerton and a founder of participant observation, Howard S. Becker.[8] As Robert Bogdan and Sari Biklen describe in their education text, "historians of qualitative research have never, for instance, included Freud or Piaget as developers of the qualitative approach, yet both relied on case studies, observations and indepth interviewing".[9]  In the early 1900s, some researchers rejected positivism, the theoretical idea that there is an objective world which we can gather data from and "verify" this data through empiricism. These researchers embraced a qualitative research paradigm, attempting to make qualitative research as "rigorous" as quantitative research and creating myriad methods for qualitative research. Of course, such developments were necessary as qualitative researchers won national center awards, in collaboration with their research colleagues at other universities and departments; and university administration funded Ph.D.s in both arenas through the ensuing decades. Most theoretical constructs involve a process of qualitative analysis and understanding, and construction of these concepts (e.g., Wolfensberger's social role valorization theories).[10] 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 5
  6. 6.  In the 1970s and 1980s, the increasing ubiquity of computers aided in qualitative analyses, several journals with a qualitative focus emerged, and postpositivism gained recognition in the academy. In the late 1980s, questions of identity emerged, including issues of race, class, gender, and discourse communities, leading to research and writing becoming more reflexive. Throughout the 1990s, the concept of a passive observer/researcher was rejected, and qualitative research became more participatory and activist-oriented with support from the federal branches, such as the National Institute on Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR) of the US Department of Education (e.g., Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers for Family and Community Living, 1990). Also, during this time, researchers began to use mixed-method approaches, indicating a shift in thinking of qualitative and quantitative methods as intrinsically incompatible. However, this history is not apolitical, as this has ushered in a politics of "evidence" (e.g., evidence-based practices in health and human services) and what can count as "scientific" research in scholarship, a current, ongoing debate in the academy. 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 6
  7. 7.  What can we learn from qualitative research? The strength of qualitative research is its ability to provide complex textual descriptions of how people experience a given research issue. It provides information about the “human” side of an issue – that is, the often contradictory behaviours, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and relationships of individuals. • Qualitative methods are also effective in identifying intangible factors, such as social norms, socioeconomic status, gender roles, ethnicity, and religion, whose role in the research 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 7
  8. 8. issue may not be readily apparent. When used along with quantitative methods, qualitative research can help us to interpret and better understand the complex reality of a given situation and the implications of quantitative data. Although findings from qualitative data can often be extended to people with characteristics similar to those in the study population, gaining a rich and complex understanding of a specific social context or phenomenon typically takes precedence over eliciting data that can be generalized to other geographical areas or populations. In this sense, qualitative research differs slightly from scientific research in general. 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 8
  9. 9. Characteristics of Qualitative Research:  Qualitative research is an effort to understand situations in their uniqueness as part of a particular context and the interactions there (Patton, 1985).  A second characteristic of all forms of qualitative research is that the researcher is the primary instrument for data collection and analysis.  A third characteristic of qualitative research is that it usually involves fieldwork. The researcher must go to the people, setting, site, institution, in order to observe behavior in its natural setting 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 9
  10. 10.  A fourth characteristic of qualitative research is that is uses an inductive research strategy. This type of research builds abstractions, concepts, hypothesis, or theories rather than tests existing theory • Data sources are real-world situations • Data are descriptive • Emphasizes a holistic approach (processes and outcomes) • Data analysis is inductive • Describes the meaning(s) of research finding(s) from the perspective of the research participants 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 10
  11. 11. Qualitative Methods:  Historical research …studies available data to study, understand, and interpret past events • Ethnography … studies cultural patterns and perspectives of participants in their natural settings • Case Study … examines the characteristics of a particular entity, phenomenon, or person 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 11
  12. 12.  Ethology … examines the characteristics of a particular entity, phenomenon, or person • Ethnomethodology …studies how people make sense of their everyday activities in order to behave in socially accepted ways • Grounded theory …investigates how inductively-derived theory about phenomenon is grounded in the data of a particular setting 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 12
  13. 13.  Phenomenology …considers how the experience of particular participants exhibits a unique perspective • Action research …teacher-initiated, school-based research used to improve the practitioner’s practice by doing or changing something 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 13
  14. 14. Issues in qualitative research... • gaining entry  contacting potential research participants  selecting participants  enhancing validity and reducing bias  leaving the field 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 14
  15. 15.  Gaining entry...  access is very much dependent upon the researcher’s personal characteristics and how others perceive the researcher  may require considerable negotiation and compromise with a gatekeeper  trust is earned, not given  contacting participants... gaining access  dealing with gatekeeper(s)  issues of building trust and ensuring confidentiality and anonymity 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 15
  16. 16. selecting participants...  two general guidelines: the number of participants is sufficient when…  …the extent to which the selected participants represent the range of potential participants in the setting  …the point at which the data gathered begins to be redundant (“data saturation”) 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 16
  17. 17. The threats to validity in qualitative studies...  observer bias… …invalid information resulting from the perspective the researcher brings to the study and imposes upon it • observer effects… …the impact of the observer’s participation on the setting or the participants being studied 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 17
  18. 18. strategies to enhance validity and to reduce bias...  extend the time for observing the setting  include more participants to make the study more representative  focus upon building participant trust in order to access more detailed and honest data  identify biases and preferences, seek them out by asking others 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 18
  19. 19.  work with another researcher and compare field notes and impressions from independent observations  after observations are completed, offer participants an opportunity to validate accuracy of the verbatims  journalize one’s own reflections, concerns, and uncertainties during the study and refer to them when examining the data  carefully examine unusual or contradictory results for explanations (“outliers”) 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 19
  20. 20.  utilize a variety of data sources to confirm one another to corroborate participant information (“triangulation”)  leaving the field…  The question is when and how to exit  the bonds formed with study participants complicate leaving the setting  time constraints  when the amount of accessible data is sufficient 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 20
  21. 21. The basic steps of qualitative research...  Write a tentative research proposal  Intensive participation in a field setting  Collect detailed data from field activities • Synthesize and interpret the meanings of the field data • Write the research report 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 21
  22. 22. Strategies for analyzing qualitative data...  constant comparison method …compares new evidence to prior evidence to identify similarities and differences between observations • negative case and discrepant data methods …the search for contradictory, variant, or disconfirming data within the body of data collected that provides an alternative perspective on an emerging category or pattern 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 22
  23. 23.  Writing the research report...  provide a setting where the data were collected • identify characters who provide information • describe the social action in which the characters are engaged • offers an interpretation of what the social action means to the characters • follow all APA Publication Manual guidelines 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 23
  24. 24. Ethics Revisited  The subjects’ identities should be protected so that the information you collect does not embarrass or harm them.  Treat subjects with respect and seek their cooperation in the research  Make it clear to the participants in the study what the terms of the agreement (consent form) are and abide by that.  Tell the truth when you write up your final report. 10-02-2017 © Jaismeen Kaur, Punjabi University, Patiala 24