Ensuring Quality in Psychological Qualitative Research

By Martin Dempster, Donncha Hanna

Part of Research Methods in Psychology For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You want to make sure you are taking efforts to ensure quality in your psychological research. When conducting qualitative research for a psychology study, consider the following areas to ensure that your research is of good quality:

  • Consider an appropriate sampling method (for example, purposive sampling, theoretical sampling).

  • Stop sampling participants for your study when you have collected enough data to ensure you have meaningful findings.

  • Consider factors that may affect the data obtained (for example, your assumptions and biases, the context of the data collection).

  • Allow time for transcribing the data.

  • Analyse your data using a transparent process.

  • Reflect on the analysis process and how it has been influenced by you or other external factors.

  • Verify your analysis using a credibility check.

  • Familiarise yourself with the data – good qualitative analysis begins with immersion in the data.

  • Relate your themes/categories to and support them by the data.

  • Justify your interpretation, but remember that it’s your interpretation – it doesn’t need to be the same as other people’s interpretation of your data.