Many times, qualitative researchers fail to properly understand the principle, “Goodness of Fit” as it pertains to their research question. Obviously, all research must start with a problem statement, but how does one confirm the “rightness” of the problem statement?
A useful step in confirming this is to respond critically to questions about the logic and reasoning that assisted in shaping the question. A few questions that I like to ask during the discovery phase are:
- Is my research question working to address my problem?
- How am I deciding whether my question is too focused or too broad?
- How have I checked for assumptions that may be embedded in my question?
- On what basis can I claim that my research question is answerable?
In the end, it should be purposeful but avoiding prediction, focused enough to guide decisions in the field, attentive to assumptions, and flexible within manageable bounds; a questions goodness of fit works through all of these considerations.