Such issues as the credibility and validity of qualitative research have been discussed for decades (Creswell, 2007; Patton, 2002). Many researchers argue that qualitative research is often associated with misinterpretation. Admittedly, it is rather difficult to remain unbiased as even researchers are subjected to the influence of various factors. Nonetheless, many researchers have worked out strategies to complete qualitative research without bias (or at least to minimize it). Some of the most effective strategies can be used to ensure the credibility and validity of the present research. It is important to note that Creswell (2007) claims that it is necessary to use at least two strategies to avoid bias. Therefore, several techniques should be used to carry out the present research. Notably, these techniques will be used while collecting and interpreting data. Such precision will ensure the credibility of the present research.
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It is important to make sure that appropriate techniques of data collection are used. Thus, Patton (2002) and Creswell (2007) point out that it is essential to collect as many details as possible. All these details will help the researcher to grasp all factors that influence participants. The present research will be based on data obtained during interviews. Precise interviewees’ answers will be analyzed. The answers will be encoded and interpreted thoroughly using various techniques to encode data (Gibbs, 2005). Records of these interviews will help to analyze interviewees’ behavior (emotions, gestures, intonations). It can be beneficial to collect certain background information about the interviewees. This will help to reveal possible factors that could influence interviewees (cultural backgrounds, age, sex, etc.). Though collecting comprehensive data and making a detailed and thick description is a very effective technique, it is only one of these strategies.
It is possible to use certain techniques to improve the validity of research while interpreting data. Creswell (2007) suggests that clarifying biased researchers improves the credibility of the research. This strategy can also be used in the present research. This will be done right after the data are collected. Therefore, the researcher can understand the limitations of his research and this will positively affect the process of data interpretation. Creswell (2007) also points out that the use of negative case analysis can be really favorable. This technique presupposes that the initial hypothesis is revised until all cases fit it. Of course, this is quite a time-consuming process, but it will definitely eliminate any bias. If the number of interviewees is rather large, the questionnaires can be grouped. This technique can be applied during the present research as well. Finally, Creswell (2007) mentions one more strategy which can improve the credibility of the present research. The researcher claims that it can be effective to send the draft of the paper to interviewees. Thus, participants of the survey will be able to comment upon data interpretation. This is very important as participants can reveal cases when data (i.e. their own words) were misinterpreted. This will help to make the present research more credible and unbiased.
To sum up, the three strategies mentioned above (i.e. clarifying bias, case analysis, and interviewees’ feedback) will be used to make the present research credible. The techniques will eliminate bias as the researcher will obtain detailed data. These data will be analyzed thoroughly and checked twice. First, the data will be checked by the researcher who will try to fit each case to the hypothesis. The data will be also checked by participants who will provide their feedback. Therefore, these techniques will ensure the credibility of the present research.
Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Gibbs, G. R., & Taylor, C. (2005). How and what to code. Web.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
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