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Objectivity In Qualitative Research – Roles And Challenges Students Might Face  

Conducting research is not at all beneficial unless it suggests betterment for society. Betterments in the living standards of a society cannot be possible by compromising the objectivity of research. Objectivity is the most important thing that all researchers must maintain to help eliminate biases in results representation. Objectivity is important for both qualitative, as well as quantitative research but this article, will focus on objectivity in qualitative research by discussing its role and associated challenges. 

What does the word objectivity refer to in academic research?

Objectivity in academic research refers to ideas that are free from bias and based on facts. Based on facts means all ideas in research must present concrete assertions and free from bias showing that ideas must not be based on personal opinions. Even hypotheses in academic research must also be presented in a way that is objective. It simply means a researcher must only accept a hypothesis if data supports it. Furthermore, it suggests scientists make necessary changes in theories and hypotheses in light of the emergence of new scientific knowledge. Objectivity is a critical aspect of scientific research, as such studies must be as close to the truth as possible.   Not only hypotheses but also experiments must be designed to be as objective as possible. In simple words, observers are not allowed to answer the research questions as they want. Rather, what a set of data depicts, must be the results of the study designed to solve a particular research problem.

What is objectivity in qualitative research?

Objectivity is a term that is frequently coined by quantitative researchers, and qualitative observations are usually considered subjective. Quantitative research gives inferences by considering the fixed or numerical form of data; however, qualitative research uses subjective parameters for data collection and analysis of data. If someone uses the term objectivity in qualitative research, it will refer to the closeness of facts, ideas, and hypotheses with truth or reality. Therefore, getting dissertation help online becomes necessary in this regard.

Rules to maintain objectivity in qualitative research:

As explained earlier, the idea of objectivity assumes that scientific truth must exist outside of any investigation or observation. To maintain objectivity, a researcher’s task is to uncover the reality without contaminating it. Thus, the following are some rules that may help you in maintaining objectivity in qualitative research:

  1. Use strong evidence that can support your claim. It is the credibility or authenticity of the evidence that helps you maintain objectivity. For this, you must use as many sources as possible so the reader can trust your data.
  2. Allow participants to review your interpretation based on the data they provided. It will help you know whether their briefs and thoughts are well explained in the results to maintain objectivity.
  3. Add a counterclaim that must challenge your own claim. Presenting a fact by reviewing both sides of the picture with strong evidence is another important way to maintain objectivity in research.
  4. Asking fellows to review your conclusion helps maintain objectivity in research by avoiding all biased opinions and weak explanations. Sometimes others can see the point that you accidentally or deliberately missed. It can also help you find gaps in arguments that need further elaboration to fill them. Peer reviews provide affirmation that conclusions are sound, logical, and based on concrete facts.

Challenges that students face while maintaining objectivity in qualitative research:

Most students conduct research only to get a degree as soon as possible; thus, they show a careless attitude regarding essential research task accomplishment. Lack of knowledge about the importance of objectivity in qualitative research is the biggest reason that imposes a number of challenges on students. However, objectivity is important in science as scientific knowledge builds on itself, and one discovery leads to another. Without knowing what adverse effects a scientific community will have to face if the foundation of new discovery is led by false or biased interpretations students can never use honest means to present valid results. The best way to maintain objectivity is to follow international standards of maintaining the validity and reliability of research. To know more about validity and reliability in dissertation writing, you can seek masters dissertation help.

The following are some challenges that students face while maintaining objectivity in research conducted in local setups:

Unavailability of proper funds:

The unavailability of funds mostly affects the quantitative researcher, where researchers have to maintain the optimum external or internal environment within the premises of laboratories. However, funds are also essential to gather responses for solving a scientific mystery by using qualitative methods of research. Inadequate funds make it difficult for students to gather data from the desired number of participants and data fabrications may result.

Avoiding bias results representation:

Whenever research is conducted to collect qualitative data, there is a high risk of biases associated with it. For example, if a researcher is dead honest in terms of collecting data from only authentic persons, the respondents’ honesty can be challenged. The respondents with a preoccupied mind or lack of responsiveness may participate in sacrificing objectivity in qualitative research. To avoid this problem, you can conduct face-to-face interviews and use the respondent’s mind-reading techniques to check the truthfulness of the recorded information.

Lack of time:

Qualitative research demands time from researchers. From searching for the best topic of interest and collecting data to analysing the data, everything needs time. But the unavailability of time is the biggest challenge that qualitative students often face. Lack of time compels them to use the procedures that seem convenient to them instead of the one that is the best. Thus, such practices prevent students from maintaining objectivity.

 Final thoughts:

After all, is said or done, we can say that objectivity in qualitative research is the extent of the closeness of results with reality. It is essential to maintain as scientific knowledge builds on itself and the results of one study lead to the existence of another one. However, maintaining objectivity in research is challenging for students due to a lack of time, funds, and means to follow honest data presentation practices. Thus, honesty in data presentation is the best method to maintain objectivity.

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