Methods Of Qualitative Research

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In this paper, qualitative research methods and their potential offer to Psychology is the main matter of interest. Qualitative research methods consist of specific procedures that investigate an issue and produce findings that cannot be produced by statistical methods and quantitative methods in general. It is worth reviewing and further considerating that the interest in it is growing rapidly and the merits of it have been increasingly recognized, despite that little research has been done so far. After introducing some basic, yet informative, principles of qualitative analysis, there will be a brief, introductive description about the “core” theories and methods of qualitative research, such as grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological…show more content…
There will be just introductive information and not an in depth description, as this is not the purpose of this paper. Grounded theory is a methodology for the inductive development of theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) which systematically produces a theory out of research. It is characterized as “grounded” and the collection of data is proceeded through semi-structured interviews, observation, case studies and constant comparison (Glaser, 1978). “Constant comparison” helps to carry out further data collection in order to investigate concepts, properties of concepts and relationships between concepts (Glaser, 1978). It is worth mentioning that grounded theory emerges from the viewpoint of participants (Henderson, 1998). That’s why, in support of this notion, grounded theory is developed from data analysis rather than one hypothesized a priori and tested afterwards (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Also, grounded theory might be the most appropriate choice for research when a phenomenon has not been adequately described. Consequently, it is broadly used in human and health sciences, as the nature of these are not easily measurable and countable (Skeat & Perry, 2007). Additionally, it is developed from personal…show more content…
IPA is a phenomenological and ideographic approach related with hermeneutics, which by term means that it is more focused on participant’s personal experience, internal reality and overall context of their wider, intersubjective experiences (Smith, 1996, as cited in Eatough & Smith, 2008). Also, it investigates in depth from causal laws to human emotions, the meaning of life and how individuals make sense of it (Willig, 2003). The latter is firmly connected with social constructionism and narrative (Eatough and Smith, 2006). Thus, one’s personal perceptions and cognitions become clearer through narrative as they have the opportunity to explain further their personal issues (e.g. health/mental health problems, gay men narratives regarding unprotected sex). Moreover, it is noteworthy that it is less objective than grounded theory, as it is more focused on similarities and tries to see things from the viewpoint of the individual, aiming to treat every participant the same (Smith, 2004). Regarding its methods, it uses small and homogenous samples usually using interviews and diaries (Smith, 2004). The latter assists to focus more on the particular rather than the universal, as it consists one of the main goals of IPA. Also, as it is interested in diversity and variability of one’s internal experience, it makes it applicable and highly useful for health,
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