Your information will never be shared. If you would like to jump right into SurveyGizmo without waiting to talk to us, just complete your account below. Common data collection methods used in qualitative research are: The Best Times for Quantitative Research Quantitative research is conclusive in its purpose, as it tries to quantify a problem and understand how prevalent it is by looking for projectable results to a larger population.
For this type of study we collect data through: Surveys online, phone, paper Audits Points of purchase purchase transactions Click-streams. Guidelines For Using Both Types of Research Ideally, if budget allows, we should use both qualitative and quantitative research since they provide different perspectives and usually complement each other.
The limitations may be of technical or cognitive nature. Kuhn provides examples where scientists have not recognized obvious facts just because they did not believe that they could exist. When you are interested to find out more about the way science works, I recommend reading the book yourself.
For all readers with German language proficiency, I suggest the book by Wallach on the philosophical basic of science. Feyerabend is another must-read if you are interested in the philosophy of science. He became known as revolutionary scientists and most readers are likely to have heard about his famous methodological conclusion: A famous quote is: This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them.
When applying qualitative research methods , the emphasis is put on the natural setting and the pointsof views of the research participants. Additionally, special consideration is given to the researcher as person.
He or she is not the independent observer in a white coat — a picture that is often drawn when natural scientists are depicted. As Denzin and Lincoln write: We can only see what our class, culture, race, gender or other factors allows us to recognize. There are plenty of examples for this in our everyday life. One day I needed a longer cable and asked the secretary whether the institute had such a cable.
I had already looked through the cupboard where the cables are stored but did not find anything. The secretary then went together with me to the same cupboard and gave me a long transparent cable.
I had looked for something black and therefore did not see it. The same happens when you conduct research and simply do not consider that the thing you look for might be red or blue or even patterned instead of black and white. There are numerous famous examples where major discoveries were delayed or where observations were ignored because they did not fit prevalent theory and thus inhibiting progress and knowledge generation.
When you are interested, take a look at the already mentioned books by Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend. I am not sure whether you, the reader, already have a clear position about how you see the world that you want to examine in your research project. But you should grasp by now that qualitative research is not desk research, we go out into whatever we consider the real world, observe and talk to people, interact with them aiming to understand what is important to them and how they perceive the world.
Self-reflection is our constant companion and from the very beginning to the end of a research project it is important to consider who we are, how we are perceived by others and as what kind of person we enter the field.
This also influences the type of research question we select. In this section, I draw on the writings by John Dewey ] , another influential author. Very reassuring for beginning researchers, he states that research follows a uniform structure, which applies to our everyday life as well as to science. In other words, there are familiar elements in conducting research and we can draw on knowledge that we already have gained in our everyday life.
Dewey describes the research process as follows:. It is a situation that makes us fell disturbed, troubled, confused; it is ambiguous and contradictory. This leads us to formulate a problem statement and to determine a way to solve this problem. Dewey puts it very simply: In consequence, research is and should be based on real life problems and should not contain fictitious elements.
Often questions are derived from the personal biography or social context of the researcher. The connection between social context and personal biography is for example obvious in the following student projects I supervised in the past:.
After having come across an uncertain situation, the next step is to clearly identify and formulate the problem. This is very important as the problem statement is like a lens through which you look at reality, it reduces the complexity of reality and structures the research field. Further, you derive more detailed research questions and hypothesis from it and this can only work successfully when the point of departure, the stated problem, is comprehensible and unambiguously spelled out.
See also the chapter on research design for computer-assisted analysis in di Gregorio and Davidson Once you have an idea what you want to study, you should spend a number of hours or days in the library. Maybe someone else has already solved your problem or there are existing studies that have looked at the same or similar issues you are interested in. This does not mean that you have to start all over again and think of a new topic for your research project.
Maybe other researchers before you have looked at different aspects, or maybe the study was conducted a long time ago and repeating it would be fruitful.
Or it can be the case that in previous studies a quantitative instead of qualitative approach was chosen; you could add to it by approaching the topic from a qualitative perspective. In the main, it is essential to know on what kind of information you can build on and how you can contextualize your study. If you cannot find anything in your first search for literature, look for comparable topics. Others may not have exactly researched the issue you are interested in but something very similar, e.
Look a bit to the left and to the right of the topic you are interested in when searching for key words in library catalogues. Another issue is type of literature. Often my students come back from a first visit to the library and tell me that they found a few books but two out of the three are loaned for the next three months.
Books are okay to look at, but for other reasons than finding up-to-date research results. The first places where new findings are disseminated are at conferences.
The resulting papers are often published in conference proceedings. The next steps are journal publication, followed by chapters in edited volumes and possibly single authored books. Look at books for classical research studies, for gaining an overview of the research field, the major theoretical frameworks used and for definition of established terms. Words used in everyday language like stress, motivation, violence, emotions, employment, unemployment, nationalism and so on, may have specific meanings in a scientific context different from everyday practice.
In order to formulate good research questions, you need to define your major terms. Rather than inventing your own definitions, it is better to look at the various alternatives offered in the existing literature.
Then make an informed decision. After a while, you will know the major journals in your field and it becomes much easier to find relevant articles. Besides, the authors of such articles have done a literature search themselves.
Once you have found a handful of good articles, begin to read. Most likely, you find interesting articles referenced in these papers and thus the bibliographies put together by other authors are another good source when looking for relevant literature. For further information see for example: With this background knowledge you are ready to formulate your own research question s.
In qualitative research we ask things like:
The following are the qualitative research methods that are frequently used: One-on-One Interview: Conducting in-depth interviews is one of the most common qualitative research methods. Focus groups: A focus group is also one of the commonly used qualitative research methods, used in .
Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research.
Chapter in part four contains discussion on bridging the two strategies (quantitative and qualitative) and concluding in two final chapters on using the Internet as a place to conduct research and on writing a research report, touching on both quantitative and qualitative methods together. Qualitative research is a type of social science research that collects and works with non-numerical data and that seeks to interpret meaning from these data that help us understand social life through the study of targeted populations or places.
What is qualitative research and how can we define it? In the handbook of qualitative research Denzin and Lincoln () describe qualitative research as involving “ an interpretive naturalistic approach to the world. When applying qualitative research methods, the emphasis is put on the natural setting and the pointsof views of the. Video: What is Qualitative Research? - Definition, Sources & Examples - Definition, Sources & Examples Sometimes research does not involve simple numbers that you can analyze.