Quantitative Methods for Estimating the Reliability of Qualitative Data

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Jason W. Davey
P. Cristian Gugiu
Chris L. S. Coryn


Background: Measurement is a indispensable aspect of conducting both quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation. With respect to qualitative research, measurement typically occurs during the coding process.


Purpose: This paper presents quantitative methods for determining the reliability of conclusions from qualitative data sources. Although some qualitative researchers disagree agree with such application, a link between the qualitative and quantitative fields is successfully established through data collection and coding procedures.


Setting: Not applicable.


Intervention: Not applicable.

Research Design: Case study.


Data Collection and Analysis: Narrative data were collected from a random sample of 528 undergraduate students and 28 professors.


Findings: The calculation of the kappa statistic, weighted kappa statistic, ANOVA Binary Intraclass Correlation, and Kuder-Richardson 20 is illustrated through a fictitious example. Formulae are presented so that the researcher can calculate these estimators without the use of sophisticated statistical software.


Keywords: qualitative coding; qualitative methodology; reliability coefficients


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How to Cite
Davey, J. W., Gugiu, P. C., & Coryn, C. L. S. (2010). Quantitative Methods for Estimating the Reliability of Qualitative Data. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 6(13), 140–162. https://doi.org/10.56645/jmde.v6i13.266

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