ERIC Number: ED246082
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Choosing from Plausible Alternatives in Interpreting Qualitative Data.
This paper addresses a variation of the traditional validity question asked of qualitative researchers. Here the question is not "How do we know the qualitative researcher's question is valid?" but rather, "How does the qualitative researcher choose from among a multitude of apparently valid or at least plausible interpretations?" As early as 1975, Popp declared that the question of how one should select from possible alternative paradigms must be dealt with by researchers. Phillips' recent attempt to salvage logical positivism, and Toulmin's belief that there is such a thing as scientific rationality and that there are ways to rationally assess the relative worth of conflicting claims both contribute to this discussion. The answer to Popp's question then serves as a basis for resolving the particular data analysis problem which provided the impetus for this paper. Finally, the paper concludes with the presentation of a series of insights about qualitative and other forms of educational research which appear to follow from the earlier analysis. (BW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Data Interpretation; Phillips (D); Qualitative Research; Toulmin (Stephen)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).