Symposium Introduction - Issues of Validity: Behavioral Concepts, Their Derivation and Interpretation

  • Janice M. Morse
  • Judith E. Hupcey The Pennsylvania State University
  • Janice Penrod The Pennsylvania State University
  • Jude A. Spiers University of Alberta
  • Charlotte Pooler University of Alberta
  • Carl Mitcham Colorado School of Mines


Qualitative inquiry that commences with the concept, rather than the phenomenon itself, is subject to violating the tenet of induction, thus is exposed to particular threats of invalidity. In this symposium, using the examples of the concepts of uncertainty, trust, vulnerability and suffering, and interview and videotaped data, we discuss strategies to maintain the inductive thrust, and hence validity, during data analysis. The authors present the use of a skeletal framework and scaffold as techniques to “frame” the concept, while, at the same time, continuing to further develop the concept.