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Data Collection in Qualitative Research

Data collection in qualitative research are usually involves direct interaction with individuals on one to one basis or direct interaction with individuals in a group setting. Qualitative research data collection methods are time consuming; therefore data is usually collected from smaller samples. This approach makes data collection in quantitative research to be expensive. The benefit of this approach is that the information is richer and has a deeper insight into the phenomenon under study.

statistical data analysis schema

Qualitative Research Data Collection

The main methods for collecting qualitative data are; individual interviews, focus groups, observations and action research. Qualitative research data collection methods are concerned with developing explanation of social phenomenon; the world in which we live; why things are the way they are; concerned with social aspects of our world; seeks to answer questions about: why people behave the way they do, how opinions and attitudes are formed, how people are affected by the events that go on around them, how and why cultures have developed in the way they have, the difference between social groups. The qualitative research data collection question format is; how; why; and what.

Qualitative Research Data Collection

Researchers need to consider and confirm the sources on which to base and confirm their research and finding. Qualitative research data collection has to be genuine. They have a choice between primary data and secondary data sources and the use of both, which is termed as triangulation, or dual methodology. Primary data is the data collected by the researcher themselves i.e. interview, observation, action research, case studies, life histories, questionnaires, ethnographic research, and longitudinal research. Secondary sources are data that already exists i.e. previous research, official statistics, mass media products, diaries, letters, government reports, web information, historical data and information.

Qualitative Research Data

Qualitative research data methods are concerned with opinions, feelings and experiences. It describes social phenomena as they occur naturally – no attempt is made to manipulate the situation – just understand and describe. Understanding is sought by taking a holistic perspective approach rather than looking at a set of variables. Qualitative research data is used to help us to develop concepts and theories that help us to understand the social world – which is inductive approach to the development of theory, rather than a deductive approach that quantitative research takes – i.e. testing theories that have already been proposed. Qualitative data is collected through direct encounters.

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