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Instructor Hewlett
Kohran Frye
Week Module 2

As Stake (2010) notes, there are many advantages to using qualitative methods.
Qualitative research allows for a more discovery-oriented approach in conducting
research and can be particularly useful in exploring phenomena where little
understanding exists. A priori hypotheses are not necessary in qualitative research.
Qualitative approaches can uncover themes and hypotheses entirely unknown to the
extant literature or the researcher. Researchers are thus able to generate rather than
test theory. Further, qualitative approaches often allow for the voice of the participant to
be heard through their responses to open-ended questions. This can provide deeper
insight and more complete understandings of the perspectives of the applicable
population. Finally, qualitative approaches provide greater researcher flexibility and
subjective interpretation, which may be necessary for understanding highly complex

The quantitative search for facts can be usefully thought of as a series of what?
questions (e.g. what number or percentage of people prefer product A to product B, or
what number of people in a given population have drunk beer in the past week). In
contrast, qualitative research is almost universally associated with why? questions that
reference its emergence in motivational research and the suggestion that we can get to

deeper levels through such interrogative strategies. These distinctions between what?
and why? questions are also reflected in the academic world. Although approaches
such as Discourse Analysis (Potter & Wetherell 1987) and Grounded Theory (Glaser &
Strauss 2006) certainly extend the scope and aims of qualitative research, and do go
beyond a psychologically driven understanding of attitudes and behaviors, there still
remains a widespread belief that eliciting consumer motivations is about understanding
the psychological forces that act on an individual.

The chosen qualitative research approach that I chose to use for my research is Case
Study. The particular type of case study that I decided to use is the critical instance case
study. These examine one or more sites for either the purpose of examining a situation
of unique interest with little to no interest in generalizability, or to call into question or
challenge a highly generalized or universal assertion. This method is useful for
answering cause and effect questions.
Some of the strengths of case studies are as follows; they are a good source of ideas
about behavior, they give good opportunity for innovation, they are a good method to
study rare phenomena, they provide good method to challenge theoretical assumptions,
and also are a good alternative or complement to the group focus of psychology.

Some of the weaknesses of case studies are that they can be hard to draw definite
cause-effect conclusions; they are hard to generalize from a single case and also the
possible bias in data collection and interpretation (due to it being a single person that
gathers and analyzes the information).



(American Psychological Assoc.)
Barnham, C. (2015). Quantitative and qualitative research. International Journal Of
Market Research, 57(6), 837-854. doi:10.2501/IJMR-2015-070