Some researchers say that it is possible to develop a hypothesis using qualitative data, but it certainly isn't common.
Qualitative research often gathers data using conversations, discussions, observations, and participation. Often the sample size is small, with participants providing in-depth information about the topic. Researchers are looking for trends or patterns in these samples. One of the benefits of qualitative research, as viewed by many researchers, is that the outcome is unanticipated by the researcher. It is open-ended with lots of room for possibilities.
Therefore, some researchers say that to generate a hypothesis about the patterns they will find before examining the patterns they collect would lead to bias in the evaluative lens of study.
Consider a researcher who wants to determine how to improve the daily living experience at his local assisted living home for the elderly. If he generates a hypothesis before entering the home (the elderly will have a better daily...
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