Qualitative Method for Research Proposal

The success and validity of any study depend on the choice of the research method. Different research approaches may be used to analyze the results of a study. However, a researcher must select the best research method in order to draw a practical conclusion. This proposal presents and justifies the best non-experimental research method for analyzing the results derived from observing research participants.

The results, which will be derived by noting participants’ behavioral changes before and after they are exposed to CBT and MDT treatment methods, will inform the conclusions of how effective CBT is as a treatment method. A non-experimental research method is used when the results produced from the methodology does not allow for the manipulation of variables or for random allocation of conditions for participants. Potential research results for this study justify the choice of a non-experimental research method.

Non-experimental methods may be categorized as single variable experiments, correlational analysis, qualitative research, or quasi-experimental. The characteristics of the anticipated research results inform the choice of the type of non-experimental research method. For the current study, a qualitative method will be used to analyze the anticipated results. A qualitative research method is used when the data are non-statistical and is thus analyzed using non-statistical methods.

An example of the application of the qualitative category of a non-experimental research method can be seen in research investigating people’s experiences in a psychiatric unit. Data was gathered from hospital documentation and from notes taken by some attendees. Data analysis was performed by a written elaboration of the notes, supported by numerous observed instances.

The research question usually determines whether an experimental or non-experimental method is more suitable. An experimental method is ideal only when the research question concerns a causal association and has a controllable, independent variable. However, an experimental and non-experimental method may be merged to respond to one research question. For instance, through non-experimental investigations, the existence of a connection between playing violent video games and aggressive behavior has been established (Bushman & Huesmann, 2001).

The qualitative method has been used as a non-experimental method in numerous research studies investigating changes that cannot be quantified numerically (Bordens & Abbott, 2014). For instance, Rosenhan’s (1973) research investigating the experiences of patients in a psychiatric clinic focused on data collected through notes. The data was non-numerical and was, therefore, analyzed using a qualitative approach. The current research question is comparable to Rosenhan’s investigation, and a qualitative method will best suit the analysis (Rosenhan, 1973).

The results of the current research will be analyzed by integrating the results from notes taken in the daily behavior journal with observed aggressive behaviors. A content analysis will be used to analyze the results derived from the qualitative data. Content analysis is a qualitative research method that is used to analyze textual data. After all the texts in the journal have been collated and transcribed, the researcher will take notes and list the useful information. The information will be categorized into different groups, and the relationship between each group will be observed. The themes in each category will be identified and analyzed in detail, and original transcripts will be reviewed to ensure that no information is omitted. The analysis will be used to solve the research question and to also draw conclusions.


Bordens, K. S., & Abbott, B. B. (2014). Research design and methods: A process approach. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Bushman, B. J., & Huesmann, L. R. (2001). Effects of televised violence on aggression. In D. Singer & J. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media (pp. 223–254). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rosenhan, D. L. (1973). On being sane in insane places. Science, 179(14), 250–258.