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Qualitative Research Methods Vocab.
Terms in this set (35)
Combining different research methods in a study to collect richer data. Using multiple methods of investigation to explore the same phenomenon.
A claim, often derived from theory, that's tested against empirical evidence so that it can be accepted or rejected.
Open-ended, inviting detailed descriptions and, if possible, explanations.
Qualitative researchers are interested in how people experience situations, so they use an _. When using an _, researchers don't normally define variables in advance because they think these are more likely to express the researcher's ideas than the participant's, so they first gather the data and then see what these could mean.
The goal of qualitative research is not to identify cause-and-effect relationships, but to...
describe the meanings attributed to events by the research participants themselves.
A plan for conducting the interview.
The structure of the interview may follow a tight interview schedule with _, or take the form of an informal conversational interview with _.
structured questions; open-ended questions
~ Interview schedule states exactly what questions should be asked and the order of the questions.
~ Interview procedure is highly controlled.
~ Similar to questionnaires.
~ Difference: Interviewer asks the questions and may provide some guidance to the respondent.
~ Data gathered are easy to analyse and compare with data from other interviewees who've been asked the same questions.
~ Because it's highly standardized, it's reasonable to have a large sample size.
~ May appear somewhat artificial b/c interviewer is bound to the interview schedule.
~ The questions that they ask may also seem impersonal or irrelevant to an interviewee.
~ Interview schedule only specifies the topic and the available time.
~ Advantage: It's open to the interests and motivation of the interviewee, so they can reveal more about themselves than in a structured interview. In this sense, the results of the interview may be seen as more valid than a highly structured interview. However, when carrying out interviews with a larger sample, the data may be more difficult to analyse.
~ Could look like an informal conversation, but it follows a schedule.
~ The semi-structured interview schedule involves a set of open-ended questions that permits the respondent to answer more freely, while maintaining the focus of the interview. Interviewers may also ask additional questions if they feel there is something of interest that should be explored in more detail.
~ One-on-one interviews or group interviews.
~ Many advantages: A group conversation feels much more natural than a one-on-one structured interview and listening to others may spark ideas and encourage conversation.
~ Saves time as several people can be interviewed in a shorter period of time.
~ Limitation: When a strong voice in the group may mean that others feel intimidated and don't contribute to the interview.
Another result of a strong voice when people in the focus group simply agree with the ideas of a member of the group.
Data collection method which aims to describe behaviour without trying to establish cause-and-effect relationships.
(Most observations) take place in a natural setting.
The observation shouldn't be affected by what the researcher expects to find.
When several observers observe the same behaviour and then compare the results of their observations to counteract researcher bias.
high inter-observer reliability
If the researchers observe the same frequency and intensity of behaviour, then the study may have _. If the researchers' notes don't produce similar data, this may mean that variables are poorly operationalized or that the procedure for the observation is not well designed.
When the researcher is a part of/in the observation/the group that's being observed.
When the researcher is not a part of/in the group.
People (and animals often) change their behaviour when they're being observed.
~ A way of collecting information from a large and dispersed group of people rather than from the very small number, which can be dealt with through interviews.
~ It may combine quantitative data with qualitative data or only use quantitative.
~ Often use questionnaires with closed questions to collect data because it's easier to do statistical analysis of such data.
~ Advantage: It's a relatively simple and straightforward approach to the study of e.g. attitudes, values, beliefs and motives, and can be extremely efficient at providing large amounts of data at a relatively low cost, in a short period of time. Sometimes interviews can supplement survey data to provide a more in-depth understanding of certain questions.
Scale that asks a participant whether something is never, seldom, sometimes, often or always true. It may also ask if they strongly disagree, disagree, have no opinion, agree or strongly agree.
~ Use self-report data (like the interview) which may be biased because people don't always tell the truth.
Many empirical studies use_ to collect data.
Questionnaires may be vulnerable to this, when people adjust their responses so as to give the "right answer" to the researcher.
~ Grounded in real life.
~ Generally produces rich data that can provide insight into an individual's behaviour.
~ Researcher observes the behaviour of an individual or a group of individuals, such as a school class or social group.
~ Often concerned with descriptions of people's experiences, feelings, or thoughts about a topic under investigation (qualitative data), but it may also include measurements, such as blood testing, IQ scores, or survey data (quantitative data).
~ Often focuses on a limited aspect of behaviour, such as the individual experience of becoming a parent, memory problems after brain damage, conflicts in a school, or implementation of new management procedures in a company.
~ Not a research method itself, but rather an approach to the study of something unique - the case
The data gathered in case studies are often _.
Which of the following is not an example of triangulation?
Taking results of a study back to the participants and asking for their feedback (this establishes the credibility of findings, but isn't triangulation; doesn't have to be 3 either). True examples are (1) using both interviews and observations to see how young teachers deal with problematic student behaviour, (2) having a social worker, a psychologist and a biologist look at data from a study of the role of stress on health, and (3) having a team of researchers all carry out an observation of free time behaviour in an urban public high school and comparing their data.
What is the name given to the plan for carrying out an interview?
An interview schedule.
What is the key difference between an unstructured and a structured interview?
Unstructured interviews are based on themes and don't have a strict list of questions that must be followed in a specific order, unlike structured.
Which of the following is not a limitation of a focus group?
They aren't highly naturalistic (they are, group conversations are very normal in day to day life, so the focus group is considered to be more naturalistic and have higher ecological validity than other forms of interviews). Actual limitations include (1) a problem with guaranteeing confidentiality of the responses, (2) they're difficult to manage, and (3) participants may demonstrate conformity to group opinions.
When participants change their behaviour because they know that they are being observed, this is called _.
Which of the following is not true of a case study?
They're highly controlled in order to avoid researcher bias. It's true that (1) they make use of method triangulation, (2) they're usually longitudinal, and (3) they're more holistic than simple experiments.
The school is doing a study on how student attitudes toward exercise. Students are given a survey which gives them a statement and then asks them to rank how strongly they agree with it. For example, the students read a statement like: I exercise in order to fit in with friends. Then they are asked to choose how strongly they agree with this statement: Strongly agree; agree; no opinion; disagree; strongly disagree. What type of survey is this?
A Likert Scale survey.
Which of the following strategies increases the generalizabilty of a single case study?
Providing rich data about the context of the study. Using method triangulation, taking the results back to the participants and asking them if it reflects their understanding of the study, and having several researchers interpret the data establishes credibility, but doesn't improve the generalizability of the study. To do that, it's important to know the exact situation that was studied with the hope of applying the findings to comparable situations - a form of generalizability called transferability.
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