Do you Know the Setbacks of Fixing on Qualitative Research Method?

A researcher will completely agree with the notion that choosing a qualitative research method to conduct a research is not an easy choice to make. However, we are aware of the fact that this research method is a process of collecting the data which cannot be quantified or calculated in numbers. Your qualitative research study can provide you with details about human behaviour and emotions through the behaviour, needs, desires, and a variety of information of the participant. Let’s discuss about the 5 major limitations of qualitative research method.

While it is facile to collect data in a quantitative research with a wider setting, it is equally painful in the qualitative research. The sample size of your qualitative research is much smaller in comparison to the other one. With a huge sample size, it will be hard to observe the behaviour and remember about each participant. The interpretation of the data will be tedious too, if the sample size is large in a quantitative research.

Coding or quantifying the data
As we discussed in the earlier point that interpretation is toilsome in the qualitative research method, however, it is much easier to code and analyse the data in a quantitative research method. Encoding a subjective data which is in the form of behaviour, emotions, and characteristics cannot be analysed in the form of a bar graph or a pie chart. Due to the influence of personal experience and knowledge on the observation and conclusion, qualitative data is difficult to interpret.

Memory distortion
You can’t fairly remember about each person’s behaviour or response to a question. Or can you? Even though the sample size is small, it is impossible to remember everything. This is not the case with the quantitative data, as you do not have to observe and come to a conclusion with that data. While you can record the interview of your participant in a qualitative research method, you still will face memory distortion in the behaviour, expression, and emotions of your respondents.

Validity and Reliability
When you collect a quantitative data, for example, from a corporate office about the salary, bonus, and hike of the employees, you can always rely on the data provided by the organisation. Whereas you have no validity of your participant’s qualities, behaviour, or emotions collected during the data collection process. You may or may not be able to verify or rely on the qualitative data later on.

Being a naive researcher, you will rather choose to prepare an objective questionnaire, quantify the data and interpret it in the form of pie-chart, bar, or graph. Since qualitative data is a little complex to explain and illuminate to the reader, the researcher has to be well-experienced in the field. Your qualitative data requires experienced researchers to obtain the targeted data from that small sample size of respondents. While different conclusions can be derived on the basis of the gathered information, your experience counts!

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Steffi Loreti

Dr. Steffi Loreti has earned her PhD in Social Psychology. She has taught history and sociology for over fifteen years and has published forty seven research papers in impact factor journals. She has seven years of hands-on experience in reviewing and editing dissertations, proposals and technical manuscripts. She has chaired over 100 dissertations in the past. She has been supporting scholars through her company named 24x7 Editing, which offers detailed proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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