Qualitative vs. Quantitative research methods. PART I – THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS PART II – EVALUATION OF QUALITATIVE METHODS INCLUDING CONCEPTS LIKE CREDIBILITY, RESEARCHER BIAS, GERNERALIZATION, TRIANGULATION AND REFLEXIVITY. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Qualitative vs. Quantitative research methods
Qualitative vs. Quantitative research methodsPART I THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
PART II EVALUATION OF QUALITATIVE METHODS INCLUDING CONCEPTS LIKE CREDIBILITY, RESEARCHER BIAS, GERNERALIZATION, TRIANGULATION AND REFLEXIVITY.
PART III SAMPLING METHODS, PURPOSIVE SAMPLING AND SNOWBALL SAMPLING
PART IV ETHICS
PART I THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
Qualitative vs. Quantitative research methods:Qualitative research takes place in the real world, as opposed to the laboratory, and deals with how people give meaning to their own experience. Then it is followed by an attempt to interpret the behaviour and the meanings that people have given to their experience. The objective of qualitative research is to describe and possibly explain events and experiences. Qualitative research strategies:ObservationsInterviewsCases studiesThese often involve face-to-face interactions beteen researcher and participantThe researchers need to be flexible and sensitive to the needs of the social context within which the data is obtained. Step 1Step 2The data is then analysed and interpreted. To look for themes is more common than trying to confirm a hypothesis. Qualitative words and anlysisQualitative numbers- easy to summarize and use in statistics. Meant for generalization beyond the sample from which the data is drawn. Gathered through direct interaction with participants. Open-ended and flexible rich data When dealing with qualitative research it is imperative to be able to tolerate a degree of uncertainty. According to qualitative research:Researchers can only come to understand the social world through participants interpretations interpretative approach. Reality is diverse and multifaceted. The goal is to get a picture of this reality. To measure means to reduce it and therefore lose meaning. Historical flashback:Quantitative methods, such as the experiment, have been used partly in order to maintain the appearance of psychology as a scientific discipline with valid knowledge claims. During the 20th century there was a shift away from seeing quantitative methods as the only valid way of gaining data but also a realization that both methods are needed.
What decides whether to use qualitative vs. Quantitative data?Purpose of researchCharacteristics of participantsResearchers beliefs about the nature of knowledge and how it can be aquired (see next slide)The nature of knowledge Ritchie and Lewis questions based on the epistenological discussion (how can we know abou tthe world) What is the relationship between the researcher and the researched? Can the researcher be objective. Can the researched ever behave naturally. No? Well, then reflexibility is needed. What can be held as truth? Accurate measures (natural sciences) or by being supported by something else (social sciences)How is knowledge gathered? Deductive (cause and effect, generalization and prediction) vs. Inductive (collected evidence used to reach a conclusion focus: to understand the process).
Rolfe:Means that the distinction between qualitative and quantitave research is a textbook creation and that there is no unified qualitative paradigm. In fact, he claims, they are not separated. Quantitative methods assume:
That variables can be identified (and operationalised) That The relationship between variables can measured by statistics.Realibility and objectiveness is seen as highly important (and possible) therefore controlled environments (like labs) are preferred. Aim: to infer a cause-effect relationship and to be able to generalize from the study.Eg. experiments and correlational studies. Qualitative methods assume:
Exercise 1: try to fill in what qualitative research has in common opposed to quantitative methods based on what we have covered so far:PART II EVALUATION OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODSEvaluation: strengthsProvide rich data that is, in-depth descriptions of individual experiences. Particularly useful for investigating complex and sensitive issues.Explain phenomena that is, go beyond mere observation to understand what lies behind them (eg. why do people become homeless?)Generate new ideas and theories to explain and overcome problems. People are studied in their own environment, which increases credibility.Evaluation: limitationsCan be very time-consuming and generate a huge amount of data.Data analysis can be difficult because of the amount of data and no clear strategy for analysis.Interpretation of data may be subjective (but reflexivity can help to minimize this) Is it possible to generalize from qualitative data?This is often the aim of research, but not always so for qualitative research.Representative generalization can the findings be applied to populations outside the population of the study? Samples are often small and not selected for being statistically representative so this makes generalization difficult. However, if evidence from other studies confirms the findings (confirmability through eg. triangulation) it is argued that generalization is possible (Hammersley, 1992)Inferential generalizability same thing but with the difference that it is the setting of the research that is to be generalized to other settings. Transferability. Depends on the depth of the description of the context and this may allow for inferences to be made but needs to be supported or disproved by further evidence (e.g. transferability check through triangulation)Theoretical generalizability if the theoretical concepts can be used to open up new fields and develop further theory. Criteria for judging quantitative and qualitative researchCredibilityInternal validityTrustworthyness How believable are the research conclusions?Conclusions and interpretations are Breadth and deapth is gathered.correct as variables are well defined and measures well controlled. TransferabilityGeneralizabilityThe context is well described as it is unlikely thatThe research conclusions can be applied to it wont have an impact on the findings. Different samples as the research context is controlled enough.DependabilityReliabilityData obtained cannot be expected to be the sameRepeated use of the instrument provide stableDependability means therefore that the researcher has measurements and researchers using them Described all factors that might have influenced the data.Find similar resultsConfirmabilityObjectivitySujectivity is not only unavoidable; it is valued. Therefore researchers should give details of procedures and attemptAs many sources of bias from opinion are To find examples that contradict the findings. Eliminated from the research process.
A study is trustworthy if, and only if, the reader of the reseach report judge it to be so (Rolfe, 2006)Something on triangulationAs a way to increase credibility, but also check transferability, dependability and confirmability triangulation is often used.
Triangulation = a cross-checking of information and conclusions in research, brought about by the use of multiple procedures or sources. If there is agreement between these, there is support of the interpretation of data.
Using triangulation does not mean you get a certain truth, but you get closer to it reflexivity is still necessary.
Example of triangulation techniques:Method triangulation. Comparing data that come from the use of different methods. These could be both quantitative and qualitative. Eg. first using a questionaire to ask about eating habits in a school, and then conduct focus group interviews afterwards. Researcher triangulation involves using different people as researchers. This increased the confirmability and credibility of conclusions. Without this data collection and conclusions might be affected by researcher bias. Other triangulation thechniques include data triangulation and theory triangulation. ReflexivityRefers to the researchers need to constantly be aware of how and why they are conducting the research, and to recognize at what points their own beliefs and opinions might have influenced data collection or analysis.
To undergo an interview with collegues is a way to expose possible bias.
Examiners hint: to answer a question about the value of reflexivity in qualitative research, you should make reference to the different opportunities for reflexibility provided by interviews, case studies and observations. EFFECTS OF PARTICIPANT EXPECTATIONS AND RESEARCHER BIASParticipant expectations the participants ideas of the researcher and the research which can affect the trustworthiness of the data. Pleasing the experiment (or the screw you effect). Researcher bias the researcher does not pay enough attention to the participants. This leads to the result that it is the researchers own beliefs that determine the research effect. Can be checked through interviews, credibility checks and reflexivity. PART III SAMPLING METHODSSampling methodsThe sampling numbers are generally smaller thani n quantitative research. To get random, representative samples from target population is seldom possible (or the aim) of qualitative research. It is not intended to be statistically representative. Instead, a sample is chosen because it represents important characteristics of a population characteristics that are the main concern in evaluation of research. Sampling methods in qualitative research differs from those used in quantitative research. Examples of sampling in qualitative researchPurposive sampling the participatns are chosen on the basis of particular characteristics that will help the researcher to explore the research topic. Eg. specific experiences, social roles etc. It may be important that there is a diversity but this is not necessary nor at times possible. Problem the sample might be b