In qualitative research, a member check, also known as informant feedback or respondent validation, is a technique used by researchers to help improve the accuracy, credibility, validity, and transferability (also known as applicability, external validity, or fittingness) of a study. There are many subcategories of members checks, including; narrative accuracy checks, interpretive validity, descriptive validity, theoretical validity, and evaluative validity. In many member checks, the interpretation and report (or a portion of it) is given to members of the sample (informants) in order to check the authenticity of the work. Their comments serve as a check on the viability of the interpretation.
Member checking can be done during the interview process, at the conclusion of the study, or both to increase the credibility and validity (statistics) of a qualitative study. The interviewer should strive to build rapport with the interviewee in order to obtain honest and open responses. During an interview, the researcher will restate or summarize information and then question the participant to determine accuracy. Member checks completed after a study are completed by sharing all of the findings with the participants involved. This allows participants to critically analyze the findings and comment on them. The participants either affirm that the summaries reflect their views, feelings, and experiences, or that they do not reflect these experiences. If the participants affirm the accuracy and completeness, then the study is said to have credibility. These member checks are not without fault, but serve to decrease the incidence of incorrect data and the incorrect interpretation of data. The overall goal of this process is to provide findings that are authentic, original and reliable.
Other articles related to "member check, member checks, member":
... Member checks by research participants are increasingly recommended in qualitative research ... are differences, however, in qualitative research that suggests member checks may need to be approached with caution ... Although member checking has been used for verification of the results, it is not always a true verification strategy ...
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