Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research, while not as popular as the quantitative studies, is an important part of social sciences and fields studying various human interactions. Several students from the field of humanities choose qualitative research techniques due to the flexibility offered and the possibilities of in-depth analysis of real time social patterns without depending upon the constraints of sample size and variables that convert every human into statistical subjects.

However, conducting these studies is difficult for a student mainly due to the less number of resources available, with most documents focused on quantitative studies.

To help such students here is a list of the top research methods used by qualitative researchers:

  • Observations: It involves spending prolonged time in a setting, without actually participating in the interactions and being more of a mute spectator and taking notes of the various interactions occurring.
  • Interviews: Arguably the easiest of the data collection techniques and involves presenting a subject with a list of questions and noting the answers. The interview and the questions asked can be structured or spontaneous with just a outline followed.

Focus groups: This is a more advanced technique, which includes parts of both interview and observations. Here the researcher presents a scenario or a topic to a group of individuals, encourages active discussion on the same, and notes his observations.

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