Credibility in Qualitative Research

Credibility in Qualitative ResearchCredibility is present when the research results mirror the views of the people under study. Credibility in qualitative research means the confidence of the data. Validity and reliability are justifiable in research despite the fact that qualitative researchers make use of various procedures to establish validity and reliability.

Internal validity is very important in qualitative research, as research workers are able to demonstrate the reality of the individuals through in depth description of the discussion. Theoretical concepts must have generalisability and transferability, which means that concepts must be applicable to other similar situations. This stresses the significance of thick description so that the reader has the knowledge on which to base judgment.

Steps to Improve Credibility in Qualitative Research

  • Extended participation: This represents investment of adequate time to learn culture, test for false information, build trust and usually repeating the procedure central to the case study. This can be attained through consultation of appropriate documents and preliminary visits to the companies themselves.
  • Continuous observation: Certain situations concerning to the phenomenon under study should be observed over an adequate period of time to spot certain aspects highly relevant to it.
  • Triangulation: This means the use of multiple referents to draw conclusions. It involves evidence from various sources; different methods of collecting data and different investigators. The usage of triangulation permits the investigator to strive to distinguish true information. For example, the researcher should conduct a literature review to familiarize herself with the content of the phenomenon under investigation, collect data by means of a focus group interview to get in-depth information. A different type of triangulation may include the use of a wide selection of informants. This is one way of triangulating via data sources. Here individual opinions and experiences could be validated against others and, eventually, a rich picture of the attitudes, needs or behaviour of those under scrutiny could be constructed in line with the contributions of a range of individuals.
  • Peer debriefing: This describes exposing the researcher’s analysis and conclusion to a coworker or other peer on a continuous basis for the development of both design and analysis of the study. For example, the researcher can conduct a pre-exercise interview with participants who meet the criteria.
  • Usage of well-established research methods: The particular methods utilized, such as the line of questioning pursued in the data collecting sessions and the ways of data analysis, must be derived, where possible, from those that have been successfully applied to previous comparable projects.
  • Random sampling of individuals to serve as informants: Even though much qualitative research includes the use of purposive sampling, a random method may eliminate charges associated with investigator bias in the selection of individuals. Random sampling can also help to make sure any unknown influences are dispersed equally within the sample. In addition to that, it may be that a random technique is specifically suitable to the character of the research.
  • A major drawback to random method, however, is due to the fact that the researcher doesn’t have control over the selection of informants, it is possible that quiet, uncooperative or inarticulate people could be chosen.
  • Strategies to guarantee trustworthiness in informants when contributing data: Specifically, every individual who is contacted needs to be given opportunities to decline to participate in the project in order to make certain that data collection sessions include only those who’re really prepared to take part and ready to offer information openly. Participants should be motivated to be frank from the beginning of each session, with the investigator looking to establish a connection in the opening moments and indicating that there are no right answers to the questions which will be asked.
  • Thick description of the phenomenon under scrutiny: In depth description is definitely an essential provision for encouraging credibility because it helps you to express the actual situations which have been researched and, to an extent, the contexts which surround them. Without this understanding, it is not easy for the reader of the final account to determine the extent to which the overall findings ring true.

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Credibility in research is an assessment of whether or not the research findings represent a “credible” conceptual interpretation of the data drawn from the participants’ original data.

The above provisions could be made by research workers to promote confidence that they have correctly recorded the phenomena being studied.

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