When To Use A Qualitative Research Design? 4 Things To Consider


WELCOME TO ANOTHER ANYWAYS RANDOM VIDEO! TODAY WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHEN SHOULD WE USE A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN. THERE ARE FOUR THINGS TO CONSIDER. A HARDCORE RESEARCH INSTRUCTOR OR PROFESSOR WOULD SAY YOU SHOULD USE A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN ONLY WHEN YOUR RESEARCH QUESTION CALLS FOR A QUALITATIVE DESIGN, BECAUSE YOU SEE — THE METHODOLOGICAL CHOICES WE MAKE IN TERMS OF HOW TO INVESTIGATE AND ANSWER A QUESTION DEPEND ON WHAT THAT QUESTION IS. IT IS NOT ABOUT WHAT METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH YOU PREFER; IT IS ABOUT WHAT APPROACH IS LOGICALLY REQUIRED BY THE RESEARCH QUESTION. THAT IS ALL GOOD AND TRUE, BUT WHAT THEY FORGOT TO TELL YOU IS THAT AS THE RESEARCHER YOU ACTUALLY GET TO ASK THAT QUESTION YOURSELF, WHICH MEANS, IF I WANT TO, I CAN SIMPLY FORMULATE MY RESEARCH QUESTION IN A WAY THAT MAKES IT FIT WITH MY METHODOLOGICAL PREFERENCES. SO, LET’S FORGET ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN A THEORETICAL REALM; LET’S NOT EVEN TALK ABOUT EPISTEMOLOGY OR ONTOLOGY; LET’S FORGET ABOUT WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN. IN THIS VIDEO, LET’S TALK ABOUT REALITY; LET’S BE HONEST AND DISCUSS IN PRACTICE WHEN WE COULD LEGITIMATELY USE A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN AND COMFORTABLY PRODUCE A SATISFACTORY DISSERTATION. FACTOR NUMBER ONE: WE SHOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN IF WE DON’T LIKE STATISTICS. IF YOU HATE NUMBERS AND IF YOU ARE TERRIBLE AT MATH, BUT YOU DO HAVE AN AFFILIATION WITH LANGUAGE AND WRITING, THEN FORGET ABOUT A QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN, PURSUE A QUALITATIVE STUDY FOR YOUR DISSERTATION. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH PLAYING YOUR STRENGTHS AND STAYING INSIDE THE COMFORT ZONE. THERE IS A REASON WHY IT’S CALLED THE COMFORT ZONE, WE ARE IN IT, WE ARE IN CONTROL; WE STEP OUT OF IT, WE TEND TO LOSE CONTROL, WE TAKE RISKS AND WE MAKE MISTAKES. SO DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE — THAT YOU CAN ONLY LEARN AND GROW WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. THAT’S NOT TRUE! IN FACT, IF YOU LOOK AT HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS, OR BUSINESS PEOPLE, OR POLITICIANS, OR ARTISTS, OR WRITERS, OR WHATEVER, NONE OF THEM ACHIEVED THEIR SUCCESS FROM OUTSIDE THEIR COMFORT ZONES OR BY DOING THINGS THAT THEY ARE NOT GOOD AT! YOU PLAY ON YOUR STRENGTH — YOU DO WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT AND YOU IMPROVE IT AND YOU GET EVEN BETTER AT IT! SO IF WE’RE NOT REALLY GOOD WITH STATS AND QUANTS, THEN WE SHOULD CHOOSE A QUALITATIVE DESIGN. QUALITATIVE STUDIES CAN ALSO BE ACADEMICALLY RIGOROUS AND PUBLISHABLE. LET’S BE HONEST HERE — MOST BACHELOR STUDENTS DON’T WRITE THEIR DISSERTATIONS IN ORDER TO GET PUBLISHED, THEY WRITE THEIR DISSERTATION TO GRADUATE. AND LET’S BE EVEN MORE HONEST HERE — MOST UNIVERSITIES DON’T NEED THEIR BACHELOR STUDENTS TO PUBLISH THEIR RESEARCH, THEY NEED THEIR BACHELOR STUDENTS TO GRADUATE AND THAT’S THE TRUTH. SO FACTOR NUMBER ONE: IF SOMEONE IS A TERRIBLE STATISTICIAN, GO WITH QUALITATIVE! FACTOR NUMBER TWO: YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN IF YOUR SUPERVISOR OR COACH OR ADVISOR OR WHATEVER YOUR UNIVERSITY CALLS THAT PERSON — IF THAT PERSON HAS EXCLUSIVELY OR PRIMARILY PUBLISHED ONLY QUALITATIVE RESEARCH, THAT’S ANOTHER FACTOR THAT SHOULD INDICATE TO US THAT WE MIGHT WANT TO CHOOSE A QUALITATIVE DESIGN FOR THE DISSERTATION. THE REASON FOR THAT IS — IF YOUR TEACHER OR PROFESSOR IS A QUALITATIVE RESEARCHER THEMSELF, CHANCES ARE THEY DON’T REALLY KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT QUANTITATIVE METHODS, AND THEREFORE, THEY CANNOT SUPERVISE YOU AND SUPPORT YOU VERY EFFECTIVELY IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO A QUANTITATIVE STUDY. IN THE CURRENT WORLD OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND ACADEMIA, AS FAR AS I CAN SEE AND IN MY HUMBLE OPINION AND OBSERVATION, THERE IS STILL A CLEAR DIVIDE BETWEEN THE QUANTS AND THE QUALS. THE QUANTITATIVE PEOPLE DON’T REALLY KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT QUALITATIVE STUFF AND THE QUALITATIVE PEOPLE PROBABLY KNOW EVEN LESS ABOUT QUANTITATIVE STUFF. NOT ONLY THAT, MANY OF THEM ACTUALLY LOOK DOWN UPON THE OTHER SIDE AND THEY BELIEVE THAT THEIR APPROACH IS SUPERIOR AND THEY THINK THE OTHER SIDE IS SILLY. THERE ARE CERTAINLY EXCEPTIONS!!! BUT GENERALLY SPEAKING, THIS IS STILL VERY MUCH THE CASE. AND IN A WAY, IT IS VERY NATURAL AND UNDERSTANDABLE, BECAUSE NOBODY CAN BE GOOD AT EVERYTHING. PEOPLE DEVELOP AND POSSESS DIFFERENT EXPERTISE, FOCUSES AND PREFERENCES IN TERMS OF RESEARCH AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES. SO, IF YOU WISH TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE KNOWLEDGE, EXPERTISE, EXPERIENCE, AND SUPERVISION OF YOUR PROFESSOR, AND IF THAT PERSON IS A QUALITATIVE PERSON, YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER PURSUING A QUALITATIVE DESIGN YOURSELF. FACTOR NUMBER THREE: IF YOU ARE LEANING TOWARDS A QUALITATIVE DESIGN AND IF YOUR SUPERVISOR IS ALSO A QUALITATIVE RESEARCHER, THEN THE NEXT THING WE WANT TO MAKE SURE IS THAT OUR CENTRAL RESEARCH QUESTION NEEDS TO BE FORMULATED IN A WAY THAT FITS A QUALITATIVE DESIGN. THIS IS SOMETHING ALREADY TOUCHED ON AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS VIDEO, SOME RESEARCH QUESTIONS JUST SIMPLY WON’T WORK WITH A QUALITATIVE DESIGN. IF OUR RESEARCH QUESTION IS HIGHLY CAUSAL OR IF WE’RE DOING A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY WHICH DEMANDS HIGH LEVELS OF PRECISION AND ACCURACY, THEN WE SIMPLY CANNOT USE A QUALITATIVE APPROACH. SO, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE FORMULATE A CENTRAL RESEARCH QUESTION THAT IS EXPLORATORY AND INDUCTIVE. IN OTHER WORDS, WE WANT TO BE LOOKING INTO SOMETHING ABOUT WHICH THERE IS RATHER LITTLE PRIOR LITERATURE AND RESEARCH; SOMETHING ABOUT WHICH WE CAN EXPLORE A BIT. FOR EXAMPLE, HOW CERTAIN NEW TECHNOLOGIES ARE BEING UTILIZED IN A PARTICULAR FIELD AND HOW PEOPLE PERCEIVE OF THAT; OR HOW PEOPLE RESPOND TO A NEW SOCIAL PHENOMENON THAT HAD NEVER OCCURRED BEFORE. WE WANT TO BE FOCUSING ON SOMETHING ABOUT WHICH WE HAVE NO CLEAR EXPECTATIONS; ON WHICH WE CANNOT FORMULATE HYPOTHESES; THINGS WE CANNOT DIRECTLY COUNT OR MEASURE. I MADE AN EARLIER VIDEO ABOUT DIFFERENT TYPES OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS, WHICH YOU CAN CHECK OUT HERE, I’LL PUT A LINK SOMEWHERE THE SCREEN. I MIGHT ALSO MAKE ANOTHER VIDEO IN THE FUTURE LISTING OUT SOME GOOD EXAMPLES OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH QUESTIONS. BUT FOR NOW LET’S JUST SAY QUALITATIVE RESEARCH QUESTIONS NEED TO BE EXPLORATORY AND INDUCTIVE. AND WE NEED SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO FIT OUR PREFERRED QUALITATIVE DESIGN. FACTOR NUMBER FOUR: BE PREPARED FOR SOME PRETTY COMPLICATED COMPLEX MESSY TROUBLESOME EVEN STRANGE AND ECCENTRIC QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS. IF STATISTICAL ANALYSIS IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY, WELL, QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS IS ALSO NOT FOR EVERYBODY. YOU KNOW, THE GOOD THING WITH QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS IS THAT WE KNOW WE WILL BE DEALING WITH NUMBERS. QUALITATIVE DATA, ON THE OTHER HAND, CAN BE ALMOST ANYTHING — STORIES, TEXTS, NARRATIVES, PICTURES, VIDEOS, DRAWINGS, PAINTINGS, EVEN DREAMS… QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS IS COMPLICATED, EVEN IF WE JUST TALK ABOUT ANALYZING TEXTUAL DATA LIKE INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PROBABLY A HUNDRED OR MORE PAGES OF TEXTS, AND THEN THE CODING — OPEN CODING, AXIAL CODING, THE SELECTIVE CODING, ALL THE SENSE MAKING, MODEL BUILDING, IT AIN’T EASY. IF YOU DO A QUALITATIVE STUDY, YOU MIGHT SAVE SOME TIME BY NOT HAVING TO LEARN STATISTICS, BUT YOU ARE CERTAINLY GOING TO PUT IN A LOT OF TIME IN TERMS OF QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS. AND ONE MORE THING HERE, WHEN IT COMES TO QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS, YOU CAN USUALLY GET SOMEBODY TO HELP YOU. I MEAN IF ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS IS GOOD WITH STATISTICS AND KNOWS HOW THE SOFTWARE WORKS, THEN IT DOESN’T TAKE A WHOLE LOT OF TIME FOR THEM TO RUN THE ANALYSIS FOR YOU. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS, PROBABLY NOBODY’S GOING TO RUN THE ANALYSIS FOR YOU. AND THIS IS BECAUSE IT TAKES MUCH TIME AND THERE’S REALLY NO SHORTCUTS. IN OTHER WORDS, FOR QUANTITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS, FOR AN EXPERT, IT DOESN’T TAKE HIM OR HER A WHOLE LOT OF TIME TO RUN THE ANALYSIS. FOR QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS, IT WILL PROBABLY TAKE THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME FOR AN EXPERT AND A NON-EXPERT TO PERFORM THE SAME ANALYSIS ON THE SAME DATA SET. THERE IS NO SHORTCUT. SO YOU WILL HAVE TO PUT IN THE TIME YOURSELF. IF YOU CAN HANDLE THAT AND IF YOU THINK IT IS FUN AND INTERESTING AND ENJOYABLE TO PERFORM QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS, THEN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGNS ARE INDEED FOR YOU. SO THESE ARE THE FOUR FACTORS IN MY VIEW THAT WOULD INDICATE WHETHER OR NOT WE SHOULD PURSUE A QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN FOR THE DISSERTATION. TO RECAP: FOUR QUESTIONS — DO YOU HATE STATISTICS? IS YOUR PROFESSOR A QUALITATIVE RESEARCHER? IS YOUR RESEARCH QUESTION FORMULATED AS AN EXPLORATORY INDUCTIVE QUESTION? AND DO YOU LIKE AND DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HANDLE QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS? IF YOUR ANSWERS TO ALL THESE FOUR QUESTIONS ARE YES, THEN RUN WITH QUALITATIVE. LET ME END WITH A LITTLE QUOTE HERE — NOT EVERYTHING CAN BE COUNTED COUNTS AND NOT EVERYTHING THAT COUNTS CAN BE COUNTED. OKAY, EVERYBODY THANKS SO MUCH FOR WATCHING, PLEASE LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE, AND I WILL SEE YOU NEXT TIME! 🙂

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