ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Qualitative Research And Human Behavior

Updated on June 12, 2013

Marketing Competition

Different Colors, Different People
Different Colors, Different People


In the highly competitive market and business environment, several companies may be seeking the appropriate tools, strategies, and even brilliant advises in order to survive in the rapid change of the global business nowadays. Some firms are possibly declining in sales may question why the consumers change their purchase patterns and behavior on particular brands and products. To drive sales and sustain growth in the competitive market, what kind of business strategies are powerful enough to respond the uncertainty demand in different market places in different geographical areas or locations.

According to this hub's topic is about qualitative research so I would like to indicates to the strengths including to present you how powerful qualitative research could help some business types formulate insightful, fruitful, crucial, critical information, marketing probability and even growing opportunity in the globalization.


The Relevance Of Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research is of specific relevance to the study of social relations owing to the fact of the pluralization of life worlds. Key expressions for this pluralization are the "new obscurity" [Habermas 1996], the growing "individualization of ways of living and biographical patterns" [Beck 1992], and the dissolution of "old" social inequalities into the new diversity of miliens, subcultures, lifestyles, and ways of living. This pluralization requires a new sensitivity to the empirical study of issues.

Rapid social change and the resulting diversification of life worlds are increasingly confronting social researchers with new social contexts and perspectives.

Essential Features of Qualitative Research

  • Appropriateness of methods and theories
  • Perspectives of the participants and their diversity
  • Reflexivity of the researcher and the research

Unlike quantitative research, qualitative methods take the researcher's communication as an explicit part of knowledge instead of deeming it and intervening variable.

  • Variety of approaches and methods in qualitative research


Grounded Theory:

Research in the tradition of Gleaser and Strauss (1967) and their approach of building empirical grounded theories continues to be very attractive for qualitative researchers. The idea of theory development is taken up as a general goal for qualitative research. Some concepts like theoretical sampling or the different methods of coding - open axial and selective - are employed. The approach has also left its traces in the development of biographical researcher or is linked to other research programs.

Narrative Analysis And Biographical Research:

Biographical research in German language areas is essentially determined by specific method used for collecting data and by the diffusion of this method. Here, mainly the narrative interview stands in the foreground. The narrative interview focuses on biographical experiences. This is applied in several areas of sociology, and in recent year, increasingly in education.


Ethnographic research has increased since the early 1980's. Ethnography has replaced studies using participant observation. It aims less at understanding social events or processes from reports about these events but at understanding social processes developments.

Cultural Studies:

The new trend of cultured studies has also expanded into the fields of sociology and media studies. So for the degree of commitment to elaborate methodology and methodological principals is rather low. The object "cultures" defines the approach; their analysis link on media, its orientation on (disadvantaged) subcultures, and on existing relations of paper in concrete contexts.

Gender Studies:

The studies look at the processes of constructing and differentiating gender and of the inequalities. For example, transsexuality is an empirical starting point to demonstrate the social construction of "typical" images of gender.

Methodological Developments and Trends:

  • Visual and Electronic Data
  • Qualitative Online Research e.g. online focus group, online interview, e-mail interviewing, interaction and communication in the internet.
  • Triangulation goes beyond the limitations of a single method by combining several methods and giving them equal relavance. It becomes more fruitful, if different theoretical approaches are combined or taken into account in combining methods.
  • Hybridization is labeled as the pragmatic use of methodological principles and avoidance of and restricting subscription to a specific methodological discourse.
  • Using Computers
  • Linking Qualitative and Quantitative Research
  • Writing Qualitative Research e.g. diary, blog
  • Quality of Qualitative Research
  • Indication

Research Perspectives In Qualitative Research

Approaches to Subjective Viewpoints
Description of the making of social situation
Hermeneutic analysis of underlying strutures
Theoretical position
- Symbolic interactionism - Phenomenology
Ethnomethodology constructivism
- Psychoanalysis - Genetic structuralism
Methods of data collection
- Semi - structured interview - Narrative interviews
- Focus groups - Ethnography - Participant observation - Recording interactions - Collecting documents
- Recording interactions - Photography - Flim
Methods of interaction
- Theoretical coding - Content analysis - Narrative analysis - Hermeneutic methods
- Conversation anaysis - Discourse analysis - Genre analysis - Analysis of documents
- Objective hermeneutics - Deep hermeneutics
Fields of application
- Biographical research - Analysis of everyday knowledge
- Analysis of life, worlds and organizations - Evaluation cultural studies
- Family research - Biographical research - Generation research - Gender research


an introduction to qualitative research, 2 Qualitative Research: WHY AND HOW TO DO IT. Page 30 - 60, UWE Flick, Third edition, SAGE Publications

Pros And Cons Of Qualitative Methodology


  1. The qualitative approach provides insightful or fruitful information in specific areas of each study.
  2. Accuracy and validity of the measurement and research finding.


  1. The quality of qualitative approach in term of recruitment of respondents.
  2. Research methodology may leads to argument in specific area of the finding or result due to the small number of respondents will not represent the study topic which is different with the quantitative approach which employs both inference and descriptive statistics in designing research methodology and it is more systematical procedures.

Human Behavior : Books for Sales

Principle Of Human Behavior

Principle Of Human Behavior

Unlike Psychology and Biology but Human Behavior is strongly associated with both Biology and Psychology in several aspects. The principal of Human Behavior is the fundamental of individual perception, cognition, and learning process towards both internal and external society and environments. In the principal of Human Behavior I would like to present here is all about the overall concepts and key contents without the terminologies which are associated to the qualitative research. And the importance of human behavior in understanding of the consumers behavior, perceptions, attitudes, purchase intentions, and so on toward the brands, products, and services, which are key factors of business sustainability in the long run.

The following contents are key elements in the principle of The Understanding Human Behavior:

· Human Development since fertilized until fetus stage

· Brain and Its Functions

· Senses e.g. Hearing, Visual, Touching, Smelling, and Tasting

· Cognition & Perceptions

· Childhood

· Families including social class

· Learning Procedures

· Publicity and Society

· Adolescence and Adulthood

[If you want to learn more about this issue, I attached the books here on this hub]

Principle of Psychology

Do you ever think why marketing research relate to Psychology? Qualitative Research Approach has a root from psychology including social science research. Here I will introduce principle of psychology to you prior to let you have the answer why marketing research involves with psychology or social psychology.

"Social Psychology is a discipline that uses scientific methods to understand and explain how the thought, feeling, behavior or individual influence by the actual, imaged or imply presence of other human being (1985)" Gordon Allport, Psychologist.

In terms of applying psychology and social psychology to both quantitative and qualitative is the measurement of individual though, feeling, behavior include attitude and perception towards specific things.

Now I would like to introduce the founder of psychology namely Fraund and Wudt in brief. Actually I don't like Fraund's theory that the female jealous of "penis" so the hate should be introduced first.

  • Sigmund Freud:

Just watch his theories on this link

Wundt well known as a father of experimental psychology and Principles of Physiological Psychology.

James was born in New York and he became a lecturer at Harvard and his works were published many times.

Let's answer the poll?

Which psychologist is known of his theory of social anxiety? (SA - Single Answer)

See results
Participation to focus group discussion would help identifying, figuring out, breaking, and finding the proper solution for specific brand & product.
Participation to focus group discussion would help identifying, figuring out, breaking, and finding the proper solution for specific brand & product.

Case Study

Consumer Behavior at Tesco Lotus: (Give credit to my nasty Prof. P. Williamson - Business Research)

I studied Business Research in March 2011 and a Prof. lectured about Tesco Lotus case in consumers/shoppers behavior observed via CCTV at Tesco Lotus. This case conducted at bread shelves. The very interesting finding indicated that the shoppers or customers who purchased bread regularly on shelves, they tested the freshness of bread they wanted to buy by squeezing the bread in the front row. If the bread soft mean it fresh, then shoppers would choose the bread at the back row because they perceived that breads in front row were older.

After Tesco Lotus comprehended their customers' purchasing behavior of the breads by CCTV observation, consequently Tesco Lotus replaced the freshest bread at the front, and placed the oldest to back row of the same shelve. When the shopper were going to select the breads they decided to purchase next time the oldest one would be purchased first. Few months later Tesco Lotus could reduced spoil or outdated breads on shelves successfully.

Now you understand what the human behavior is and why it is crucial for not only qualitative research but also quantitative research. If you are skeptical still, please read a case study altogether with the brief procedures of qualitative approach as follow.

Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and Mini Group Discussion

Focus Group Discussion = 6 - 10 qualified/targeted respondents attend to group discussion

Mini Group Discussion = 4 -6 qualified/targeted respondents attend to group discussion

Stimuli = depend on research techniques i.e. collages, projective, self-completion, workshop, mind mapping, snowball etc.

Timing = 1.5 - 2.5 hours approximately

Discussion Guide: Key questions are prepared

The most important piece in moderation focus group is a Moderator himself/herself. Well, the most interesting case I've involved with was B2G group discussion that the participants were doctors from many hospitals. They did not have any clue that there were many people observed them behind the mirror and hidden CCTV. Before the group started, one respondent starred at us ooooppsssssss starred at the mirror and squeezed pimples on his face then check out his attires. What observers did when they saw his behavior.............all laughing at him. I bet he might be angry and embarrassed if he knew that many people laughed at him.

During group discussion conducted observers included myself could obviously seen that one or two respondents feel unhappy with other who raised objection against his opinion or disagreed with him/her. Some just agreed with other by just response "Yes, I agree with you." Some were bias respondents to particular topic for instance one doctor suddenly angry with general question, he biased moderator and other respondents by complaining and refused to answer specific question.

  1. What do you do if you face with difficult respondent like that doctor?
  2. If you were a moderator how would you deal with this kind of pressure situation?
  3. How to make the atmosphere better after complaining?
  4. Is this group discussion will run smoothly afterward?

The best answer for those above question is psychology/social psychology required to cope with these difficulty. In this case as a doctor has high ego and he forced by his boss to participated this focus group discussion, so the client have to revealed themselves and tried to comfort by explaining the objectives of this research. This is very rare case happen in focus group discussion, FGD. Hence be careful when you interview doctors, LOL!!

OK, let's wrap up this case. The group discussion was stop after his complaint and the customers revealed themselves. Then all respondents and customers discussed in general topics instead.

How to avoid difficulties when moderate focus group discussion (FGD)

- Recruit target respondent(s) who will not bias specific product/service.

- Moderator should graduate from social psychology/psychology rather than other areas.

- Comfortable and friendly atmosphere i.e. nice room with soft sofa but should not have distracted decorations.

- Use right stimuli(s) to right group.

- Ask permission to record their conversation but do not mention about VDO recorded and observation. etc.

Example of deliverables:-

  • Documented evidences of qualitative study: Transcripts (if required), diary, writing blog
  • Audios or VDOs
  • Top line report (If required)
  • Outline report
  • Presentation of the finding (in general PPT will be presented by power point presentation)

Example of transcripts

Moderator: Let's talk about funding support by Government to your hospital. How much Gov. support you? Please share with me and your friends here.

Doctor1: My hospital is a private hospital so I did not receive any fund from the government and most of the patients are quite rich.

Doctor2: Well, not like mine.

All: (Laughing)

Doctor4: It's quite confidential but normally hospital I work for receive around.......regular basis. And we get extra from security fund.

Doctor5&6&7: Same as mine. Me too. Same amount.


Analysis : Qualitative report is more likely content analysis and can mix some quantitative method in the analysis as well, for instance a moderator asks the respondents to vote for winner of the products or service providers in the list [Kelly Grid Technique], brands/words association, like and dislike, projective analysis, and so on.

Technique generally used in Focus Group Discussion:

  • Projective Technique
  • Snowballing Technique
  • Self - Administrative or Self - Completion
  • Mind Mapping or Laddering Technique :authored by CathyR
  • Narrative Technique
  • Kelly's Grid Technique : Sum score matrix

Wrap Up Question: How do you do if you are observing? "I keep my eyes on you". haha (Meet the Folker)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kesinee profile imageAUTHOR

      Sranunta Lamduan 

      6 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Interesting technique use in focus group and sometimes use in in-depth interview called "mind mapping technique." Well, I have to tell you that it's quite difficult in analysis. [whisper]

    • kesinee profile imageAUTHOR

      Sranunta Lamduan 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      I really like your article about Qualitative research. It's useful hub. It's very easy to understand.

      So I vote up!!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      It is about choice and there is just too much choice these days, in the west

    • kesinee profile imageAUTHOR

      Sranunta Lamduan 

      7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Hi Kaie, Thank you for your comment. :-)

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      7 years ago

      Research is the present and the future. I'll try most any product if given the incentive to do so, but I only purchase the product I deem to be the best. No cutting corners in what I use for my job! Kaie


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)