Applying a Quality Framework to the In-depth Interview Method

Mitigating Researcher-as-instrument Effects

Unique attributes image

There are 10 unique attributes associated with qualitative research.  These were discussed briefly in an article posted in this blog back in 2013.  One of the most fundamental and far-reaching of these attributes is that the qualitative researcher is the “instrument” by which data are collected.  The data-gathering process in qualitative research is facilitated by interviewer or moderator guides, observation grids, and the like; however, these are only accessories to the principal data collection tool, i.e., the researcher or others on the research team.

As the key instrument in gathering qualitative data, the researcher bears a great deal of responsibility for the outcomes.  If for no other reason, this responsibility hinges on the fact that this one attribute plays a central role in the effects associated with three other Read Full Text

Does Attitude Matter?

Maybe attitude doesn’t matter.  Maybe how people feel about any given topic or how they think through a decision about whether to act one way or another are irrelevant to Soupresearch design.  Maybe all that really matters is behavior.  Maybe behavior is more important than attitudes because users of the research care only about what someone does, not what someone is feeling or thinking in conjunction with the behavior.  If true, the implications narrow the focus for research design and suggest, for example, that

  • the “success” of social programs, such as those to feed the poor, can simply be measured by meals served, or
  • the effectiveness of youth health initiatives can be defined solely by the incidence of risk behavior, or
  • consumer preferences can be determined exclusively by their online shopping activities, or
  • employee satisfaction can be fully evaluated by the number of missed or “sick” days, or
  • an assessment of a person’s belief system can be obtained by just looking at how often they attend a place of worship.

Maybe – with the growing ability to track where people are when and correlate their digital activities with something of interest – behavior-oriented research designs are the wave of the future.  Lex Olivier and Mario van Hamersveld think so.  They take this position within the context of Read Full Text