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Methods & Meanings

Methods and Meanings: Credibility and Trustworthiness of Qualitative Research

Diane G. Cope
ONF 2014, 41(1), 89-91 DOI: 10.1188/14.ONF.89-91

Historically, qualitative research has been viewed as "soft" science and criticized for lacking scientific rigor compared to quantitative research, which uses experimental, objective methods (Mays & Pope, 1995). Common criticisms are that qualitative research is subjective, anecdotal, subject to researcher bias, and lacking generalizability by producing large quantities of detailed information about a single, unique phenomenon or setting (Koch & Harrington, 1998). However, qualitative research is not inferior research, but a different approach in studying humans. Qualitative research emphasizes exploring individual experiences, describing phenomenon, and developing theory (Vishnevsky & Beanlands, 2004).

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