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Paper 3 - Quantitative Research Methodology

Key words

Notes

Distinguish between qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative Number Rigorous Statistic More Qualitative Text Rich Approach Few

Quantitative data o Numerical o Under rigorous conditions o Statistics o From many participants

Qualitative data o Text o Rich data o No single approach to data analysis o Few participants

Explain strengths and limitations of a qualitative approach to research


Purpose: understand the world as the participants sees it "Reality" is seen as dynamic as it changes with people's perceptions. This is linked to a constructionist approach (people construct realities and there is no single objective reality) or a phenomenological approach (people's subjective reality is important) to understand humans.
 The focus is on design and procedures that makes it possible to study behaviour in everyday situations and to obtain rich data.
 The topic of research is influenced by the research process, the participant and the research. This means that factors such as "participant expectations" and "researcher bias: may influence the results.
 Research takes place "in the real world", and it intends to 'in the real world', what goes on in the real world Strengths Limitations o Rich data o Large amounts of data to analyse o Useful for investigating complex and sensitive issues o Time consuming o Ecological validity o Difficult to generalize o New theorise o Subjective o Long period of time of interaction between researcher o Participants expectations o Researchers bias and participants

To what extent can findings be generalized from qualitative studies?

Generalization of result from qualitative research is often not possible because: o Most studies have few participants o Sampling is based on selection criteria and not representativeness o The goal of data analysis is to understand the subjective experience of participants in the study
 The question of generalization of qualitative research findings is a continuous objects of discussion in qualitative research o Some qualitative researchers argue that it is important to generalize findings from qualitative research studies as this contributes to application of its result outside the research itself o They argue that under some conditions generalization may be possible Representational generalization Inferential generalizations Theoretical generalization o Findings from a study can be applied to o Findings form a study can be o Theoretical concepts populations outside the study. applied to settings outside the study. developed in the study can o If findings from similar research studies o The Findings can be "transferred" to be used to develop further corroborate findings, some degree of similar setting (transferability) theory generalization may be possible

Discuss ethical considerations in qualitative research.

Ethical considerations are made because: o The small number of participants in qualitative research may result in difficulties with anonymity o Research topics are often sensitive and requires particular consideration for the participants in the study o There is often a long-term research process with close personal contact between the researcher and participants so participants may reveal very personal information and it can be difficult to maintain researcher objectivity at times o The research process may result in obtaining sensitive information such as participants' criminal activity. The research need to consider this in advance; decide if the research will informed about this before they participate.

Paper 3 - Quantitative Research Methodology

Key words

Notes

o Informed consent cannot always be obtained. Some research projects may involve danger to the researcher. Ethical issue o Participants must understand what the study will involve and they must agree to Informed consent participate. Participation is voluntary o Participants should be able to understand the information given before, during and after the study o An ethical committee must give permission if informed consent cannot be obtained because of the nature of the research o In covert participants observations, the researcher(s) should carefully consider whether the data from the research is so important that they study is justified, especially if the research could be dangerous for the researcher or some of the participants. o Consider whether the researcher could potentially harm participants in any way. Protect participants from o Questions should be clear and direct if the topic is sensitive harm o Consider whether the interview or observation if participants show signs of discomfort of distress o Protect participants from the consequences of participation o Follow-up in research to ensure participant's well-being o Full anonymity is the rule, but in cause where this is not possible the participation Anonymity and confidentiality should be fully informed o Research material should be destroyed and transcripts anonymized o The researcher could use reflexivity and consult other researchers when researching Potential exploitation of participants socially or psychologically vulnerable people who are not able to protect themselves o The researcher must seriously consider whether findings based on deception and covert observations in research on sensitive issues can be justified. The degree to which 'invasion of privacy" is acceptable should be critically evaluated and the study abandoned in some cases


Discuss sampling techniques appropriate to qualitative research


The goal of qualitative sampling techniques is to select participants who are particularly informative about the research topics under investigation and generalization of findings is less important The objective of the research project and the characteristics of the population of interest will influence the choice of sampling method

Purposive sampling o Characteristics of individuals are used as the basis of selection in order to reflect the diversity of the sample population. o The number of participants in the study may not be decided in advance so recruitment of participants can continue throughout the research project until the researchers find that they have enough data to generate theory (data saturation). o Participants are selected based on salient characteristics (selection criteria) relevant to the research topic such as :
 Socioeconomic status
 Gender
 Age
 Attitudes
 Social roles
 Specific experience
 Purpose of the study Strengths Limitation o Participants represent the research topic because they o Sampling may be biased. If the sampling process is are selected specifically based on salient characteristics based on objective selection criteria, documented, relevant to the research and explained the bias is limited. o It is a relatively easy way to select a sample. They sample o It is difficult to generalize from a small purposive may be supplemented with more participants during the sample research.
 Snowball sampling o Is considered a type of purposive sampling o Participants who are already in the study can help the researcher to recruit more participants who could

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