Unit 2: Terrain and Types of Qualitative Research
Quantitative research usually attempts to predict a trend across a broad sample of people. For quantitative research, criteria of reliability, validity, and generalizability are used for determining the “scientific” value of research. If a qualitative researcher is trying to understand someone’s experiences, then she/he conducts a study where she/he collects all relevant information surrounding the experience and reports them. Narrative inquiry type of qualitative study focuses on the story as the basic unit of analysis. In other words, researchers who use narrative inquiry are interested in understanding how people articulate their life experiences in the structure of a story. One of the most common types of qualitative studies conducted is phenomenological study. Phenomenological studies require participants to reflect on their experiences in as much detail as possible as part of experiencing a phenomenon.