KIN 3982 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Participant Observation, Sample Size Determination, Focus Group

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25 Mar 2019

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Overview of Qualitative Research Methods
Monday, March 25, 2019
2:42 PM
Purposive sampling: the sample is selected based on the participant being
able to provide rich amounts of information
Can selected from specific population or try to get a diverse sample from
multiple sites
Qualitative researchers use fewer participants than quantitative
o Why?
Time consuming
Do not do significant testing
Sample size
o Should do an estimate but many researchers stop when new samples do
not lead to additional information (point of saturation)
Three Types of Methods
Semi-structured interviews: specific interview protocol with set questions to
be asked and standardized instructions
o Can ask additional questions and re-word questions
o Important for interviewer to be skilled and unbiased
Initial questions should establish rapport
The questions should be pilot tested
Interviews are recorded
Need to ask demographic information (age, education, gender) so sample
can be described
Focus group: 6-12 participants in a group that has a discussion led by a
o Set questions but probe when needed
o Lasts for about an hour
o Can do two or more for each study
Observations (field research): observes individuals in their natural setting
o Non-participant observation: researcher is an outsider watching
o Participant observation: researcher blends in with the group being
Can raise ethical issues
Steps for Data Collection
Identify sites and/or individuals
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