in-depth interviewing

Re-considering the Question of “Why” in Qualitative Research

It is easy to fall into the trap of relying on the “why” question when conducting qualitative research. After all, the use of qualitative research is often supported with the claim that qualitative methods enable the researcher to reach beyond quantitative numerical data to grasp the meaning and motivations – that is, the why – associated with particular attitudes and behavior. And it is in this spirit that researchers frequently find themselves with interview and discussion guides full of “why” questions – Why do you say you are happy? Why do you prefer one political candidate over another? Why do you diet? Why do you believe in God? Why do you use a tablet rather than a laptop computer?

Yet “why” is rarely the question worth asking. In fact, asking “why” questions can actually have a negative effect on data collection (i.e., Credibility) and contribute bias to qualitative data. This happens for many reasons, here are just four:

The “why” question potentially

Evokes rationality. By asking the “why” question, researchers are in essence asking participants to justify their attitudes and behavior. In contemplating a justification, it is not unusual for participants to seek Read Full Text

Applying a Quality Framework to the In-depth Interview Method

Qualitative Research Design: RDR Articles Published in 2015

2015 Qual Res Design

Research Design Review is a blog first published in November 2009. RDR currently includes over 130 articles concerning quantitative and qualitative research design issues. “Qualitative Research Design: Selected Articles from Research Design Review Published in 2015”  presents the 17 articles that were published in 2015 devoted to qualitative research design. These articles discuss best practices in research design for a range of qualitative methods – in-depth interviews, focus groups, ethnography, multiple methods – and emphasize the need for quality standards in qualitative research design that lead to credible, analyzable, transparent, and ultimately useful outcomes. This quality approach to qualitative research is discussed at length in a new book from Guilford Press – Applied Qualitative Research Design: A Total Quality Framework Approach (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015). As we state in the book:

                ““If it is agreed that qualitative research can, in fact, serve worthwhile (‘good’) purposes, then logically it would serve those purposes only to the degree that it is done (‘executed’) well…” (p. 20)

The 17 articles included in this compilation are:

1. Social Constructionism & Quality in Qualitative Research Design

2. The Interviewee’s Role in the Qualitative Interview: Interpreter or Reporter?

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