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Abstract

Technological difficulties, such as recording lapses and dropped calls, during interviews for qualitative research lead to important ethical and methodological considerations. Using case examples from our own experiences with recording lapses, we walk through some of the questions to consider, including relational ethics and how changes in the data affect the validity of our findings. We argue that how ethical and methodological issues raised by recording lapses are to be handled largely depends on the paradigm in which each study is situated, ranging from postpositivist to constructivist to critical theory. However, we recommend that: (a) participants should be informed about the lost data and play a part in the decision on how to move forward, (b) decisions made due to technological difficulties should be discussed in the findings, and (c) researchers should take precautionary measures to avoid technological difficulties.

Keywords

Qualitative Research, Recording Lapses, Technological Difficulties, Research Ethics, Validity

Author Bio(s)

Jason D. Reynolds (Taewon Choi) is an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Department of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy at Seton Hall University. His current research interests are in the areas of identity development, transracial adoption, names as they impact the intersections of identity, qualitative research methods and psychobiography, and the treatment of complex trauma. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Jason D. Reynolds (Taewon Choi) at jason.reynolds@shu.edu.

Minsun Lee is an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Department of Professional Psychology and Family Therapy at Seton Hall University. Her current research interests are in the areas of bicultural identity, racism, and critical consciousness, as well as racial/ethnic factors related to therapy process-outcome.

Publication Date

7-2-2018

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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