One increases the statistical power of a quantitative study by increasing the sample size. This reduces the chance that a real effect (rather than an apparent effect brought about by sampling variability) will be overlooked. Does triangulation offer the qualitative methodologist who is conducting a grounded theory or narrative inquiry study a similar reduction in the likelihood of overlooking important results? Why or why not?
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PSY-850 Lecture 5
Appraise the suitability of grounded theory and narrative inquiry.
Contrast data collection, triangulation, and analysis methods employed in grounded theory and narrative inquiry.
Approaches to Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory and Narrative Inquiry
Grounded theory is an overarching method not limited to qualitative variables. Its purpose is to develop new theory about the topic of study that is deeply grounded in facts of the setting studied. Those facts are taken directly from writings, interviews, participant-observation, artifacts, and the daily activities of members in the setting studied. Grounded theory’s cofounders are Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss (1967).
Narrative inquiry has a narrower scope because it concerns strictly narrative events and not writings, interview responses, artifacts, or participant observations other than participation in a narrative. Its origin is less well-defined than grounded theory. Riessman (2001, 2005) is one of the prominent contemporary theorists of the method. The narrative approach can be applied within a grounded theory study, as can other qualitative methods. This method takes its data strictly from narrator-listener encounters conducted during a study. A narrative always involves a narrator, a listener, and the exchange of information. The exchange is not limited to the semantic content of the words and sentences spoken. An understanding of illocution (the effect of an utterance) is necessary, requiring study of the ordinary language philosophy of John Searle (Burkhardt, 1990) and his critics (Doerge, 2004).