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Rational Empiricism of Quantitative Research vs...

Interpretive/Constructivist Approach of Qualitative Methods

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  BASIC ASSUMPTIONS OF INTERPRETIVE / CONSTRUCTIVIST SCIENCE (4)


•Psychological reality is socially constructed
•Psychological knowledge is constructed through investigative practice of researchers.
•Psychological research seeks an understanding of people’s subjective experience.
•Psychological research is value-laden.
 

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The Case for Qualitative Approaches

(2)

1) contextual relatedness → likert scale

2) cultural relativity 

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1) contextual relatedness

 

likert scale vs. narrative description

much better for understanding whole picture rather than just knowing discrete independant pieces of information

 

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2) cultural relativitity

collective cultural values

invariable indicators that are embedded in social & cultural context

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(1) Qualitative Interview

Inquiring about the meaning of people’s subjective experiences through engaging them in dialogue

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REASONS FOR INTERVIEWING:

to find out about.... (4)

1)People’s feelings, thoughts & intentions;
2)How people organize their experience of world & meanings they attach to it
3)Behaviors that took place at a previous point in time;
4)Situations that preclude the presence of an observer.

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TYPES OF QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS (2)

  1. unstructured
  2. semistructured

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1) unstructured qualitative interview

The interviewer engages the respondent in an open-ended conversational dialogue.

 

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2) semistructured qualitative interview

interviewer engages in directed conversation with respondent, according to a structured INTERVIEW GUIDE that specifies exact topics to be discussed BUT not the wording or sequence of questions

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Elements of Semistructured Interviews  (2) 

Types of Questions 

Interview Procedure 

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Types of Questions (4) 

1) Biographical Qs

2) "Grand Tour" Qs

3) Floating Prompts

4) Planned Prompts

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1) Biographical Qs

 

Questions concerning simple descriptive or demographic information about respondents

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2) "Grand Tour" Qs

 

substantive Qs concerning main topic of research  

- (2) types 

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(2) types of Grand Tour Qs 

1) Question Matrix

2) Rule of "W"

 

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Grand Tour Qs→ 1) Question Matrix

 

general plan for interview guide

contains question types:

  1. behavior/experience
  2. opinion/value
  3. feeling
  4. knowledge 
  5. sensory 

along time frame: past, present, future

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Grand Tour Qs → 2) Rule of "W"

 

open-ended Qs to encourage answers in their own words & discourage yes/no answers

Who
What
When
Where
Why  → (bad Q - may not know why, speculative answers)
How

 

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3) Floating Prompts 

 

Spontaneous, unplanned communicative gestures directing the respondent to elaborate on a certain point

(2) types

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(2) types of Floating Prompts

  1. EYEBROW FLASH
  2. REPETITION OF KEY TERM

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Floating Prompt → 1) Eyebrow Flash

non-verbal, raising eyebrows 

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Floating Prompts → 2) Repetition of Key Term

verbal

make note of term repeated by respondent & repeat key term to get them to elaborate on it

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4) Planned Prompts

 

Prearranged communicative gestures directing the respondent to elaborate on a certain point

 

(6) types

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4) Planned Prompts → (6) Types

1) Contrast Prompt

2) Category Questions

3) Exceptional Incidents

4) Auto-driving

5) Hypothetical Questions

6) Summary Questions

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Planned Prompts → 1) Contrast Prompt

 

ask respondent explicitly to contrast between 2 opposite things/situations

 

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Planned Prompts → 2) Category Questions

 

ask to define term in their own experience 

(1st mentioned terms then your own Qs) 

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Planned Prompts → 3) Exceptional Incidents

 

asking if theyve experienced something unordinary (exceptions to norm) 

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Planned Prompts →

4) Auto-driving

 

has to do with use of props that trigger reflections of experiences 

projection → project feelings of self on others

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Planned Prompts →

5) Hypothetical Questions

 

asking what they would do in certain situations 

(the exception to not asking about things beyond experience) 

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Planned Prompts → 

6) Summary Questions

to address issues that you havent talked about yet

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Interview Procedure (3) 

1) opening

2) question deployment

3) critical listening

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1) opening

 

simple demographic Qs

establish rapport

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2) question deployment

 

Qs, prompts etc/

(2) key components

- 1) comprehensive → cover most of IG

- 2) flexible → dont ask innapropriate/irrelevant Qs

- balance between the 2

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3) critical listening

- (3) 

1) key terms

2) conversational dodges

3) implications & assumptions

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Critical listening → 

1) key terms

 

listen for 

- often suggest analytical category 

(3) Qs

1) underlying assumptions → what is implied by the term

2) companion terms → related to key terms or opposite

3) interrelationships b/w key terms → stress, pressure etc. 

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Critical listening → 

2) conversational dodges

 

what things they avoided or deflected attention from

involves resistance → refuse to discuss/think/remember about specific experiences

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Critical listening → 

3) implications & assumptions

hidden meaning

what is implied

underlying assumptions

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(2) Focus Groups

Small group discussion of a given topic as moderated by a facilitator

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Group Interviews

facilitator systematically questions several individuals simultaneously according to a structured, semistructured, or unstructured format.

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FUNCTIONS OF FOCUS GROUPS (4) 


•GATHER INFORMATION
•GENERATE INSIGHT
•EXPLORE DECISION MAKING
•ENCOURAGE GROUP INTERACTION
 

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Types of Focus Groups (3) 

1) Traditional Focus Groups

2) Brainstorming Groups

3) Delphi Groups

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1) Traditional Focus Groups

 

researcher takes directive role - structured 

- used in advertising/political decisions

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2) Brainstorming Groups

 

unstructured & non-directive role of researcher (facilitator) → generate ideas

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3) Delphi Groups

compromise between traditional & brainstorming groups

- 1st stage → generate ideas

2nd stage → group facilitator puts together suggestions & presents to group again 

 

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(3) Ethnographic Research 

Field studies of naturally occurring groups in another culture or subculture

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Features of Ethographies (4) 

1) Holistic Perspective

2) Naturalistic Orientation

3) Prolonged Field Activity

4) Use of Prior Knowledge 

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1) Holistic Perspective

 

understand as a whole experience not just parts

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2) Naturalistic Orientation

 

studies human phenomena in naturalistic setting

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3) Prolonged Field Activity

 

prolonged time to obtain observations 

- huge commitment

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4) Use of Prior Knowledge 

in advance → study culture/subculture 

to find how to access group

to know what to look for

 

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What are the 3 general characteristics of nonexperimental research? 

1) defined by exclusion (NOT experimental)

2) observation rather than manipulation & assignment

(selected variables) 

 data procedure forfeits some degree of control to obtain data

3) interested in how individuals understand themselves & make meaning out of their lives

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.    Define and give examples of qualitative research and correlational research. 

Qualitative → ask Qs regarding how ppl make meaning of world

 

Correlational → measures 2+ variables to determine degree of relationship between them 

(dont know which caused the other) 

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Observational Study 

method in which researcher observes & records ongoing behavior but does not attempt to change it

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Archival Study

– study method that examines existing records to obtain data & test hypotheses

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Case Study

exploratory study of existing situation as a means of creating & testing a hypothesis 

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Survey Research

assessing public opinion or individual characteristics by use of questionnaire & sampling methods 

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the hermeneutic approach

-  importance in nonexperimental research? 

principles of interpretation of a text's meaning 

(method of interpretation)

- attempt to understand/interpret behavior rather than search for causes

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naturalistic observation as a research method. 

 Observational research of subjects in their natural environment carried out to disturb the subjects as little as possible 

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(2) alternative terms for naturalistic observation 

1) Unobtrusive research

2) Nonreactive research

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1) Unobtrusive research

 

commonly used in social sciences 

effort made not to influence/obtrude on behavior being studied 

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2) Nonreactive research

emphasized that subjects are unaware they are being studied 

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What role do physical trace measures play in naturalistic observation research? 

unobtrusive measure of behavior that uses physical evidence 

broad category of unobtrusive measures 

 

can study behavior of group of individuals even though it may be unethical to observe individuals behavior

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    What is laboratory observation and what role does it play in naturalistic observation research?

type of observation that occurs in lab rather than in field

- allows researchers to rule out sources of confounding that would occur in original naturalistic situation

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Participant-observer research

observational research in which observer participates in group to record behavior 

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(4) issues that arise in participant-observer research

1) problems of objectivity → strike balance bw taking group viewpoint & maintaining scientific objectivity

2) gaining access to group → disguised/undisguised
- ethical dilemma of informed consent

3) act of observing changes behavior 

3) invasion of privacy 

 

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Define and give an example of archival research in psychology. 

 Research conducted using data that researcher had no part in collecting

 - Irene Blair, Charles Judd & Kristine Chapleau’s (2004) analysis of influence of racial stereotypes in sentencing of peoples convicted of crime 

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How are theories developed and tested in observational archival research? 

(2) techniques:

1) mathematical approach towards combating threats to internal validity

2) more flexible, inductive process of developing & testing hypotheses which are based on existing observations 

- hypothesis & theory continously modified to take into account new data 

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(3) general guidelines for the use of Field Notes in nonexperimental research?

1) be systematic → keep notebok of all observations & interpretions

2) be selective → take samples of behavior to solve problem of having too much to observe

3) make use of recording devices

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Content Analysis

involves evaluating pictures & language in publicly available texts to evaluate hypothesis 

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(2) approaches to content analysis

1) manifest content 

2) latent contect 

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1) manifest content 

- disadvantage?

 content of txt/photo as indicated by measuring frequency of some objective word, phrase or action

THREAT TO RELIABILITY: Possibility of coder making mistakes when going through large amounts of data 

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2) latent content

- disadvantage?

context of txt of photo as measured by appearance of themes as interpreted by researcher

THREAT TO RELIABILITY: another researcher might interpret same passage differently

 

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Define & distinguish among method, procedure & protocol in nonexperimental research

method - broader term encompassing all aspects of study (including logic of design & steps for carrying it out) 

procedure - what researcher does in translating design into action

protocol - list of exact steps needed to test subject from start to finish

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Importance of Pilot Studies in nonexperimental research

tentative small-scale study done to pretest & modify study design & procedure 

- to find bugs & increase credibility of findings

 

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 steps that nonexperimental researchers can take to guard the integrity of their data

(4) 

- have plan for recording & handling data

- procedure kept in notebook with all research details

- placed in secure & private place

- prep format of summary data sheet ahead of timw 

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(4) Historical Research

 

studies of past events based on historical records

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Stages of Historical Inquiry (3)

 

1) Collection of Facts

2) Interpretation of Facts

3) Evaluation of Consequences

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Sources of Historical Data (2)

 

Primary sources

Secondary sources

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Primary sources

advantage & disadvantage

original record of events

advantage: authenticity

disadvantage: fragmented/disconnected info

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Secondary sources


advantage & disadvantage

second hand account of events

advantage: comprehensive

disadvantage: biased (already filtered through another's interpretation

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