Why Qualitative Research Works
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Several unique aspects of qualitative research contribute to rich, insightful results:
- Synergy among respondents, as they build on each other’s comments and ideas.
- The dynamic nature of the interview or group discussion process, which engages respondents more actively than is possible in more structured survey.
- The opportunity to probe ("Help me understand why you feel that way") enabling the researcher to reach beyond initial responses and rationales.
- The opportunity to observe, record and interpret non-verbal communication (i.e., body language, voice intonation) as part of a respondent’s feedback, which is valuable during interviews or discussions, and during analysis.
- The opportunity to engage respondents in "play" such as projective techniques and exercises, overcoming the self-consciousness that can inhibit spontaneous reactions and comments.
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