Ontological and epistemological assumptions of the survey method

Overachiever, 3 Failure, 4 The term typology is used in many fields. For example are Carl G.

Ontological and epistemological assumptions of the survey method

In the remainder of this chapter, we will describe the techniques appropriate for assessing trustworthiness on each of these five criteria and the logic that motivates their use. However, beyond this description, we will evaluate these techniques based on our use of them in research stemming from the Consumer Behavior Odyssey, a field research project on consumption conducted in the summer of by a rotating team of two dozen academic researchers traveling across the U.

We will employ examples from our research primarily because it is the work which we know best and therefore, we are best able to provide details concerning its conduct which are not usually available in written realist presentations of research results Van Maanen It is not Ontological and epistemological assumptions of the survey method intention of this chapter to present a "new orthodoxy" which suppresses variety and responsiveness in the design and implementation of interpretive research.

Above all, we support the idea that research design should be responsive to the nature of the research focus, and the techniques employed should address the questions presented above within the varieties of context participant-observation, ethnographic researchers choose to explore.

Ontological and epistemological assumptions of the survey method

Techniques for enhancing credibility during data collection include prolonged engagement, persistent observation, and triangulation across sources and methods. Since the construction of an interpretation in ethnographic fieldwork begins during data collection Glaser and Straussthe techniques for enhancing credibility in interpretation formation also begin in the field.

These techniques include regular on-site team interaction, negative case analysis, triangulation across researchers, and debriefings by peers. Techniques for enhancing credibility that pertain most appropriately to the stage of preparing a presentation of the interpretation for readers include member checks and audits.

With the exception of audits which will be discussed in a later section, each of these will be discussed and evaluated in this section. Prolonged Engagement and Persistent Observation Conducting ethnographic research requires spending sufficient time in a context to develop an understanding of the phenomenon, group, or culture in broad perspective before focusing on a particular aspect or theme imbedded in that context.

The problem was not the existence of a priori theory, either explicit or implicit, but rather the lack of attention to the key feature of naturalistic inquiry--namely, that it takes place in situ and is therefore subject to a much broader set of influences than apply in the laboratory.

That is, despite her lengthy stay in Samoa roughly one year in the initial fieldworkMead did not really conform to the spirit of prolonged engagement as a means to emergent interpretation. But how prolonged is prolonged? Clearly the amount of time required varies.

Cultural anthropologists conducting fieldwork for an initial project in an exotic culture with which they are unfamiliar often spend at least a year enmeshed in the culture. Werrier and Schoepfle suggest that even after this time period, language skills are likely to be woefully inadequate to obtain a deep understanding of the concepts of the culture.

Urban sociologists conducting fieldwork in their home culture may begin to focus on one aspect of social action more quickly since the context is already a part of their experiential portfolio.

Typically, rather than living at a research site Manningthey maintain frequent contact with social actors in the social world they are studying, and conduct their fieldwork through these interactions see for example, Snow and Anderson Similarly, researchers conducting fieldwork in a context with which they have previously become intimately familiar may more readily be able to conduct diagnostic research in a new, but similar setting.

However, in familiar contexts there is the danger of being too familiar with phenomena so that an appreciation of that which is taken- for-granted Wirth is more difficult to acquire. Here the researcher must work to intentionally cultivate a more distanced and critical naivete, which also requires prolonged engagement and an ability to perceive things with "new eyes" and new ears Of course, more is needed than just spending a long time in a setting or social world.

Prolonged engagement is recommended partly in order to acquire sufficient observations to be able to assess the distortion which may exist in the data. Through persistent observation, the researcher acquires sufficient depth of understanding to assess the quality of the data.

This is a topic to which we will return in the section on integrity. The length of time appropriate to spend in a particular context is thus a function of the purpose of the research and the prior experience of the researchers.

See also Sherry and McGrath--this volume. The goal in each of these projects was constructing a description and interpretation of social action at a single site that was initially unfamiliar to the researchers. Because the data were gathered primarily during one microcyc le, we could only employ perspectives of action informant explanations of their actions to the researcher in referring to patterns pertinent to longer cycles; however, we could employ both perspectives of action as well as perspectives in action observations of actual behaviors in interpreting patterns within this microcycle see Snow and Anderson, ; Gould, Walker, Crane, and Lidz In summary, one consideration in determining how prolonged the engagement must be is the length of the cycle over which the phenomenon of interest manifests itself.

Because the broader Consumer Behavior Odyssey sought to explore phenomena and themes in American consumption that were not site- or region-specific, movement across sites was employed. Neither the swap meet project nor the Consumer Behavior Odyssey project followed the approach taken by a ]one anthropologist studying an exotic culture, because neither project utilized a single researcher or focused on largely unfamiliar phenomena.

Instead, the time spent in fieldwork at a particular site emerged from a consideration of the overall goals of the project and the information obtained.

2 Ontological and Epistemological Foundations

In all cases, reporting the amount of time spent at a site, the number of researchers, and the roles taken by the researchers Adler and Adler is important in establishing trustworthiness in the presentation of the interpretation. In advocating persistent observation, we are not referring to disguised observation, which Punchp.

Overt conduct of research allows the researcher to ask questions and probe issues which would seem inappropriate for a supposed non-researcher participant see Prus This persistent observation may be needed to overcome potential impression management on the part of informants.

Open recruitment and involvement of informants as informants allows researchers from the culture to more quickly ascertain the nature of the context and to go on to focus on specific themes of interest.

Triangulation across Sources and Methods A second means by which trustworthiness is enhanced during data collection is through triangulation across sources and methods.

Triangulation across sources requires the researcher to develop evidence for an interpretation from interaction with several informants, particularly several types of informants as the purposive sampling plan unfolds.

Ontological and epistemological assumptions of the survey method

Triangulation across methods requires the researcher to test an interpretation in data gathered using several different methods. The ability to employ multiple methods may depend upon other aspects of fieldwork, including the presence of a team of researchers see Denzin We have found that members of a research team have differential access to various types of informants and each researcher may obtain different types of information from the informant.Ontological, Epistemological and Methodological Assumptions: Qualitative Versus Quantitative Abdelhamid Ahmed Assistant Lecturer at The Curriculum & Instruction Dept.

Qualitative and quantitative research methods are underpinned by different ontological or epistemological assumptions; these are assumptions that are made about the nature of social reality and how we acquire these assumptions to be true, respectively.

Such paradigms, emerging from established theoretical perspectives, have different ontological, epistemological and, consequently, methodological assumptions; so much so that evolution or reflection produced in one of them is not applicable as such to the others.

Design. This review of the literature used systematic principles in searching CINAHL, Medline and PsycINFO for healthcare research studies which employed a mixed methods approach and were published in the English language between January and September Willard Van Orman Quine: Philosophy of Science.

W. V. O. Quine () did not conceive of philosophy as an activity separate from the general province of empirical science. ontological and epistemological assumptions of their research process, leads content analysis to be viewed as a rigorous and rational method which adheres to .

Quine, Willard Van Orman: Philosophy of Science | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy