But what does qualitative data analysis look like? Just as there are many ways to collect data in qualitative research, there are many ways to analyze data. This approach was developed within the field of sociology in the s and has gradually gained popularity in psychology.
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Remember that in quantitative research, it is typical for the researcher to start with a theory, derive a hypothesis from that theory, and then collect data to test that specific hypothesis. They do this analysis in stages. First, they identify ideas that are repeated throughout the data. Then they organize these ideas into a smaller number of broader themes. This theoretical narrative focuses on the subjective experience of the participants and is usually supported by many direct quotations from the participants themselves.
Their data were the result of unstructured interviews with 19 participants. Table 7.
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Well, just recently my apartment was broken into and the fact that his Medicaid for some reason was cancelled so a lot of things was happening within the last two weeks all at one time. Given their differences, it may come as no surprise that quantitative and qualitative research in psychology and related fields do not coexist in complete harmony. Some quantitative researchers criticize qualitative methods on the grounds that they lack objectivity, are difficult to evaluate in terms of reliability and validity, and do not allow generalization to people or situations other than those actually studied.
At the same time, some qualitative researchers criticize quantitative methods on the grounds that they overlook the richness of human behaviour and experience and instead answer simple questions about easily quantifiable variables. In general, however, qualitative researchers are well aware of the issues of objectivity, reliability, validity, and generalizability.
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In fact, they have developed a number of frameworks for addressing these issues which are beyond the scope of our discussion. And in general, quantitative researchers are well aware of the issue of oversimplification. They do not believe that all human behaviour and experience can be adequately described in terms of a small number of variables and the statistical relationships among them. Instead, they use simplification as a strategy for uncovering general principles of human behaviour.
In fact, the studies by Lindqvist and colleagues and by Abrams and Curran both combined quantitative and qualitative approaches.
Coping with the Quantitative - Qualitative Divide, 1st Edition
One approach to combining quantitative and qualitative research is to use qualitative research for hypothesis generation and quantitative research for hypothesis testing. Again, while a qualitative study might suggest that families who experience an unexpected suicide have more difficulty resolving the question of why, a well-designed quantitative study could test a hypothesis by measuring these specific variables for a large sample.
The idea is to use both quantitative and qualitative methods simultaneously to study the same general questions and to compare the results. If the results of the quantitative and qualitative methods converge on the same general conclusion, they reinforce and enrich each other. If the results diverge, then they suggest an interesting new question: Why do the results diverge and how can they be reconciled?
Using qualitative research can often help clarify quantitative results in triangulation.
Qualitative Research – Research Methods in Psychology
Trenor, Yu, Waight, Zerda, and Sha  investigated the experience of female engineering students at university. In the first phase, female engineering students were asked to complete a survey, where they rated a number of their perceptions, including their sense of belonging. Their results were compared by the student ethnicities, and statistically, the various ethnic groups showed no differences in their ratings of sense of belonging. One might look at that result and conclude that ethnicity does not have anything to do with sense of belonging.
However, in the second phase, the authors also conducted interviews with the students, and in those interviews, many minority students reported how the diversity of cultures at the university enhanced their sense of belonging. Without the qualitative component, we might have drawn the wrong conclusion about the quantitative results. This example shows how qualitative and quantitative research work together to help us understand human behaviour.
Some researchers have characterized quantitative research as best for identifying behaviours or the phenomenon whereas qualitative research is best for understanding meaning or identifying the mechanism. However, Bryman  argues for breaking down the divide between these arbitrarily different ways of investigating the same questions.
Qualitative Research by Paul C. Skip to content Increase Font Size. Chapter 7: Nonexperimental Research. Learning Objectives List several ways in which qualitative research differs from quantitative research in psychology. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research in psychology compared with quantitative research.
Give examples of qualitative research in psychology.
Revealing the quantitative-qualitative divide in sociology using bibliometric visualization
Key Takeaways Qualitative research is an important alternative to quantitative research in psychology. It generally involves asking broader research questions, collecting more detailed data e. Many researchers conceptualize quantitative and qualitative research as complementary and advocate combining them. For example, qualitative research can be used to generate hypotheses and quantitative research to test them. Exercises Discussion: What are some ways in which a qualitative study of girls who play youth baseball would be likely to differ from a quantitative study on the same topic?
What kind of different data would be generated by interviewing girls one-on-one rather than conducting focus groups?
Lindqvist, P. Successfully completing a research project is a major milestone in most university degrees, and it should be daunting — although not unassailable. This book provides students with the guidance necessary to start, undertake and present their research project in social science or the humanities.
Focussed explicitly on the needs and experiences of students and including a wealth of practical tips, this work is an essential resource for all students embarking on a research project. Search all titles. Search all titles Search all collections. Your Account Logout. Understanding Research. Edition 1st Edition.
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