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ERIC Number: ED318080
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Goodness Criteria: Are They Objective Criteria or Judgment Calls?
Marshall, Catherine
In discussions about qualitative research, questions often arise concerning appropriate research focus, researcher objectivity, manipulation of people or environments examined, study completeness, and value considerations. Goodness questions (reliability, replicability, and validity) get mixed with value questions (generalizability), with frustrating results for many students. Research decisions depend on the tradition or paradigm framing the endeavor. Early empiricists accepted the following assumptions: (1) truth is knowable; (2) values can be excised from the research process; (3) good research is empowering; (4) research uncovers the researcher's and others' truths; and (5) research uncovers what people believe to be true. A sixth postpositivist version of assumption 1 states that truth has no absolutely authoritative foundation, but good research comes from good methodology properly applied. Good research is honest, open inquiry, where the researcher searches for alternative explanations and is self-critical. Evaluating the goodness and value of research requires a judgment call. Critical-scientist, constructivist, and postempiricist judges all have different evaluation criteria. In judging goodness criteria, qualitative researchers should look for 20 alternative paradigms. Those supporting postpositivist criteria must help colleagues construct new realities and resist being beaten into submission by quantitative researchers' skepticism. (24 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A