In its purest sense, the idea of objectivity assumes that a truth or independent reality exists outside of any investigation or observation. The researcher's task in this model is to uncover this reality without contaminating it in any way. This notion - that a researcher can observe or uncover phenomena without affecting them - is increasingly rejected, especially in the social sciences but also in the natural sciences. In qualitative research, a realistic aim is for the researcher to remain impartial; that is, to be impartial to the outcome of the research, to acknowledge their own preconceptions and to operate in as unbiased and value-free way as possible.

Related Terms