Qualitative Research: Definition, Examples, Methods and Data
Qualitative Research is a type of research created by data collection methods such as qualitative research, observation and document analysis. It represents the process for a holistic study of events and facts in a realistic environment. Examines human and social behaviour.
While making this study, it takes place in the fields of science such as psychology, sociology and anthropology. Generalization is not a priority in qualitative measurement methods. In this method based on observation and interview, it is difficult to explain the behaviors in numbers.
The measurements that emerged as a result of the examinations can explain how many people behave, but cannot find an answer to the question. When explaining human and community behavior, a qualitative research definition is made for the research to answer the question.
Qualitative research; It is used to find answers to questions such as why, how, and how . The purpose of qualitative research is to understand how people make up their social life and interpret how they perceive the world they live in.
Qualitative Research Examples
Qualitative research can examine many topics. We can give an example through education. When we examine the principal working at a school, it is observed that there is an important relationship between the motivation and success of the principal.
The aim of the research is to determine the cases that increase and decrease the motivation of the principal during the study. The benefit obtained as a result of the research is that it will lead the professional life of the managers. 24 school principals are included in the research. The process is created by semi-structured interview technique. Content analysis is done. It is seen that internal and external motivations can be determined with the research. While their inner motivation is the love of the country, their external motivation is to be appreciated.
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It is seen that external factors mostly affect their motivations. Two of the most important factors affecting motivation are financial inadequacy and indifferent attitude of senior management. Since the success of the school principal is reflected in the system, care must be taken in this regard. Configuration should be created taking into account the motivation factor. As another example, let’s assume that you are holding a conference and need feedback after the conference. You can ask qualitative research questions to understand what you missed during the conference. Thanks to these questions, you can shed light on new results and reach more efficient results. What are these questions?
- What attracted you most at the conference?
- What should you consider for a more successful conference?
- Are there any special points you need to know about the conference?
What are Qualitative Research Methods?
Some methods are used while conducting qualitative research. It is seen that each method is functional in a different area. You can use online education to learn the methods to be applied during the qualitative research faster. The Institute aims to present qualitative research education , theoretical knowledge and practice as a whole. Let’s examine the methods below.
- Phenomenology; events, phenomena, experiences and even concepts can be included in this method. If we explain it with an example, the reasons for the negative attitude of a student studying business administration at the university towards the macro course can be determined.
- ethnography; descriptions such as the traditions and customs of a society, the beliefs they have and the bonds formed with each other can be made. When we explain it with an example, it can be determining the criteria of participation of the student studying business administration in macro courses.
- Embedded Theory; The researcher first collects and interprets the data he needs. It reveals the theories embedded in the data during the interpretation. It can encounter new concepts and reach new theories throughout the process. If we explain it again with an example, the method of a problem that students solve using multiplication while performing a transaction is to create a different method to solve the same problem.
- Case study; is the name given to the examination of a particular situation to the finest detail. For example, to identify the problems a student experiences while reading a book.
How Can You Access Qualitative Research Data?
The researcher needs some data on the subject he is interested in. It uses some methods to access this data. What are these methods, let’s examine.
- Interview; one-to-one conversations are made. Related subjects can be examined in depth with this method. The correct information can be reached with this method again.
- Case study; As a result of detailed interviews, tailor-made stories are collected.
- Expert opinion; Accurate information is obtained from those who are familiar with the subject.
- Focus groups; getting opinions about the subject from groups of small numbers. This method can be done face to face or online.
- Preparing survey questions; questions are open ended. The participant is provided to express himself freely.
- Observation; to observe the interactions of people with the subject during their usual behavior.
Important Differences Between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research
We can examine the differences between the two studies under certain headings.
- Important differences in terms of assumptions; In qualitative research, reality is created. The important thing is the situation studied. It is difficult to measure the relationship between the variables because it has a complex structure. The researcher closely monitors the events. In quantitative research, reality is objective. The important thing is the method. The relationship between the variables can be measured. The researcher looks at the events from the outside.
- Important differences in terms of purpose; In qualitative research, an in-depth description is mentioned. There is interpretation and attempts are made to understand the perspectives of the actors in the event. In quantitative research, generalization and prediction are made. It tries to explain the causality relationship.
- Important differences in terms of approach; qualitative research ends with theory and. It exists in its entirety. The researcher collects data and patterns appear. The understanding of difference prevails. The data are depicted in their own depth. Quantitative research starts as a theory and hypothesis. It is carried out by experiment and control. Standard data collection tools are used. Reconciliation and norm understanding prevail. The data are expressed numerically.
- Differences for the researcher; In qualitative research, the researcher gets involved in the events and approaches with a subjective perspective. Empathizes . In quantitative research, the researcher is out of the events. It behaves erratically and has an objective perspective.
- Differences according to the form of expression; it takes longer to answer questions in qualitative research. In quantitative research, it takes less time to answer the questions. The answers in the questionnaires with closed-ended questions are then transformed into indicators and graphs and expressed by the number value. This means that the quality of the data obtained will be better.
What does qualitative research mean?
It is a type of research created by data collection methods such as qualitative research, observation and document analysis. It represents the process for a holistic study of events and facts in a realistic environment, and examines human and social behavior. Qualitative research; It is used to find answers to questions such as why, how, and how.
What is the theory embedded in qualitative research methods?
During qualitative research, the researcher first collects and interprets the data he needs. It may encounter new concepts and reach new theories throughout the process. To explain with an example, by examining the method of a problem that students solve using multiplication while doing a process, a different method is created to solve the same problem.
What are the important differences between qualitative research and quantitative research?
In qualitative research, an in-depth description is mentioned. There is interpretation and attempts are made to understand the perspectives of the actors in the event. In quantitative research, generalization and prediction are made, as well as studies to explain the causality relationship are carried out.