Qualitative analysis has been the foundation of psychological research since its beginnings as a scientific field. The subjective nature and absence of formal processes for qualitative research resulted in a lack of respect and much criticism as a valid research methodology during the 19 th and 20 th -centuries. Improvements in the trustworthiness and rigor of qualitative analysis during the latter part of the 20 th -century allowed it to garner respect as a valid research method. In just the first eight years of the 21 st -century there has been a 5% increase in qualitative research studies published in mainstream journals (Azar, 2008).
Qualitative inquiry systematically examines the subjective attitudes, beliefs, opinions and reflections of individuals based on their personal experiences (Percy, Kostere & Kostere, 2015). Therefore, naturalistic inquiry or qualitative research investigates the process and meanings that cannot always be experimentally examined by quantifiable methods (Ryan, Coughlan & Cronin, 2007). Rigor is the meticulous adherence to accuracy which is achieved through measurement of validity and reliability in quantitative research (Heale & Twycross, 2015). Validity is the ability of an instrument to measure what it is supposed to measure while reliability is the instrument’s ability to consistently and accurately measure the concept under study (Coughlan, Cronin & Ryan, 2007). Trustworthiness and rigor in qualitative research are similar to validity and reliability in quantitative research. Qualitative validity is established by determining if the conclusions are accurate from the standpoint of the participants, the researchers, and reviewers. In qualitative analysis reliability is the examination of the stability and consistency of responses (Roberts, Priest & Traynor, 2006).
While qualitative research is mainly used to investigate something that is unknown or not well understood it can also help researchers understand processes that generate ideas to be used for formulating hypotheses in quantitative research. Quantitative analysis is used to gain understanding into the how, when and where of what is researched to determine why. The researchers usually conduct individual in-depth interviews, group discussions, focus groups, observations or other less formal semi-structured methods (Ryan, Coughlan & Cronin, 2007). The researchers themselves are the instrument by which information is collected to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, motivations, and trends in opinion. The researcher must be an active listener/observer without injecting any biases (Roberts, Priest & Traynor, 2006). Context plays a primary role in qualitative research. In other words, the researcher must observe and analyze to see the whole picture first to understand how all the pieces fit together. Please provide a 150-200 word response to the above question and please use at least 1 reference. Also please cite reference in APA 6th edition format and please provide doi or www info for reference if applicable.