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Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative research methods

Qualitative Research Methods
In order to learn qualitative research methods types let’s first understand what qualitative research is.

What is Qualitative Research method?
Qualitative research is a method that emphasizes obtaining data through an open-ended and conversational communication approach.

Importance of Qualitative Research
1. Qualitative research is used to understand concepts and thoughts/experiences.
2. Qualitative research is expressed non numerically
3. Qualitative research helps to obtain in-depth insights on research topics that are not well understood.
4. Qualitative research addresses “how” and “why” research questions
5. It is based on the disciplines of social sciences such as psychology anthropology and sociology etc

Types of Qualitative Research Methods
Qualitative research methods help reveal the behavior and perception of a target audience with reference to a particular topic. There are different types of qualitative research methods like qualitative observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups, ethnographic research, and case study research that are usually used. Let’s discuss them one by one.

1. Qualitative observation
What is Qualitative Observation?
Qualitative observation is a process of research that uses subjective methodologies to gather systematic information. Qualitative observation is primarily used to equate quality differences and deals with the 5 major sensory organs and their functioning. This doesn’t involve measurements or numbers

Characteristics of Qualitative Observation
1. Qualitative observation is subjective in nature
2. There is no right/wrong or definite answer In qualitative observation
3. Qualitative observation pays attention to how the context of research affects outcomes, general information and finding.

2. One-on-one interview:
Conducting in-depth interviews is one of the most common qualitative research methods. It is a personal interview carried out with one respondent at a time. A one-on-one interview is a conversational method and helps to get details depth from the respondent. This method provides a great opportunity to gather precise data. These interviews can be performed face-to-face or on the phone

3. Focus group
A Focus group is also one of the commonly used qualitative research methods. A focus group usually includes a limited number of respondents (6-10) from within your target market. The main aim of this qualitative research method is to find answers to the “why” “what” and “how” questions. It can be done as an online survey. Focus group is very useful for market research on new products and testing new concepts.

4. Ethnographic research
It is the most in-depth observational method that studies people in their naturally occurring environment. This method requires the researchers to adapt to the target audiences environments which can be anywhere from any organization or any remote location. Ethnographic research aims to understand the cultures, challenges, and motivations. This type of research method can last from a few days to a few years

5. Case study research:
The case study research method is one of the simplest ways of conducting research. It is used in areas like education, social sciences etc. It involves a thorough understanding of the data collection methods and inferring the data.

6. Recordkeeping
The record-keeping method makes use of the already available reliable documents and sources of information as the data source. This already available data can be used in new studies and research. You can go over books and other reference material to collect relevant data that can likely be used in the research.

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