"Qualitative research is a method of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in the social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts.Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. The qualitative method investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, when. Hence, smaller but focused samples are more often needed than large samples. "
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"In the conventional view, qualitative methods produce information only on the particular cases studied, and any more general conclusions are only propositions (informed assertions). Quantitative methods can then be used to seek empirical support for such research hypotheses. This view has been disputed by Oxford University professor Bent Flyvbjerg, who argues that qualitative methods and case study research may be used both for hypotheses-testing and for generalizing beyond the particular cases studied. "
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"Qualitative studies: Attitudes can also be measured through qualitative tools and techniques that help identify consumer opinions and beliefs as well as their feelings, by getting them involved in open discussions. Such techniques could take the forms of focus groups, depth interviews, and psychological tests. - Focus groups: In focus group interviews, a group of consumers between 6-12 in number are called together, and discussion is initiated about a product or service offering. The discussion could range across a wide spectrum related to the offering, the brand, the dealer or any of the 4Ps. The people are made to openly discuss their ideas, opinions and feelings, and the discussion is controlled by a moderator. As they begin to discuss an issue, they move towards related issues about the product and service offering, and this provides valuable insights to a researcher. However, the problem with focus group interviews is that the sample may not always be truly representative of the segment to which the product is targeted. So as a tool, focus group interviews are not used in isolation, but are used with other tools and techniques, so as to lead to be truly representative and provide valid findings. - Depth interviews: A depth interview is similar to a personal interview, where a consumer is interviewed about the product/service offering, the brand, and any or all of the 4Ps. The consumer is asked questions for a considerable period of time, and his opinions and beliefs are recorded, so are his feelings and bodily gestures. The researcher asks a question and the interviewee is encouraged to talk in length about his reactions and feelings about the product and service offering and the 4Ps. The encouragement to talk in length provides valuable insights and reveals things that the interviewer may not have thought off or imagined. Questions like “What”, “Why” , “How”, and “If” are used to enable a detailed insightful discussion. The problem with depth interviews is that it is time consuming and expensive. It also requires trained psychologists as interviewers. And like, focus group interviews, it may not always be representative of the market segment. - Psychological tests: A host of psychological tests are available that are used to infer and measure consumer attitudes. Projective techniques are used commonly; for example the consumer may be asked to interpret a picture (Thematic Apperception Test), or fill in a dialogue in a cartoon, or write ten-twelve words describing a figure or an image. They can also be asked to complete an incomplete paragraph (as story writing), or write the first word that comes to mind when a product/service or brand is mentioned or shown. Open ended questions like sentence completion help reveal consumer insights and underlying feelings and opinions about product offerings, brands and the 4Ps. The problem with psychological tests is that interpretation may turn out to be subjective and it requires trained psychologists as interpreters. Source: http://in.docsity.com/en-docs/Consumer_Needs_and_Involvment_-_Consumer_Behavior_-_Solved_Quiz_"
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