Send to

Choose Destination
Early Hum Dev. 2019 Jun;133:43-47. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2019.03.010. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

WASP (write a scientific paper): An introduction to set-theoretic methods and qualitative comparative analysis.

Author information

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta, Malta. Electronic address:


This paper provides an introduction to set-theoretic methods with respect to their application to research in the qualitative paradigm, as part of a series of papers on qualitative research being featured in Early Human Development. It discusses the philosophical assumptions underlying set-theoretic methods and the properties that make them well-suited for use in the analysis of qualitative data. It also takes a closer look at qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), a cross-case analysis method that has arguably been most widely applied among the set-theoretic methods and has also been gaining ground in the health field. Theoretical underpinnings, sample-size considerations, set calibration, QCA software packages, parameters of fit and limitations of the method are discussed. A description of the analytic output issued by a freely available software package, fs/QCA, is used as an example to illustrate QCA results and their interpretation.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center