Explore BrainMass

Roles that Bias and Context play in the Observation Method of Qualitative Research?

Can someone help me with an explanation of the roles that bias and context play in the observation method of qualitative research?

Solution Preview

(a) Bias

Observational methods-- involves observing a situation or individual in varying situations and /or times. The observational method is considered useful for describing behaviors and events [while interviewing it is mainly use for describing the client's demeanor or behavior] (Maxwell, 2005). Both bias and context play important roles in determining the outcome of the research project. For instance, bias may be reflected in the researcher's bias that is made up of his or her own opinions. According to Mehra (2002), a researcher's approach to a specific topic derives from his or her experiences. Therefore, the notion of the "self" influences research interests, and is a matter of concern. In other words, the researcher may tend to study that which he or she supports, and ignore that which he or she is opposed to. She further poses this question to the qualitative researcher in inquiring how researchers keep themselves out of a research topic when it has personal significance.

For instance, the "Qualitative research method [suggests] that the researcher is an important part of the process", Thus, the researcher cannot not ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes the roles that bias and context play during observation in conducting qualitative research.