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    Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

    Quantitative research is expressed in numbers and is used to test hypotheses. Qualitative research is expressed in words to gain understanding.

    Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research | Differences, Examples & Methods

    Published on April 12, 2019 by Raimo Streefkerk. Revised on January 3, 2023.

    When collecting and analyzing data, quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings. Both are important for gaining different kinds of knowledge.

    Quantitative research

    Quantitative research is expressed in numbers and graphs. It is used to test or confirm theories and assumptions. This type of research can be used to establish generalizable facts about a topic.

    Common quantitative methods include experiments, observations recorded as numbers, and surveys with closed-ended questions.

    Quantitative research is at risk for research biases including information bias, omitted variable bias, sampling bias, or selection bias.

    Qualitative research

    Qualitative research is expressed in words. It is used to understand concepts, thoughts or experiences. This type of research enables you to gather in-depth insights on topics that are not well understood.

    Common qualitative methods include interviews with open-ended questions, observations described in words, and literature reviews that explore concepts and theories.

    Qualitative research is also at risk for certain research biases including the Hawthorne effect, observer bias, recall bias, and social desirability bias.


    The differences between quantitative and qualitative research

    Quantitative and qualitative research use different research methods to collect and analyze data, and they allow you to answer different kinds of research questions.

    Qualitative vs. quantitative research

    Quantitative research Qualitative Research

    Focuses on testing hypotheses and theories Focuses on exploring ideas and formulating a theory or hypothesis

    Analyzed through math and statistical analysis Analyzed by summarizing, categorizing and interpreting

    Mainly expressed in numbers, graphs and tables Mainly expressed in words

    Requires many respondents Requires few respondents

    Closed (multiple choice) questions Open-ended questions

    Key terms: testing, measurement, objectivity, replicability Key terms: understanding, context, complexity, subjectivity

    Data collection methods

    Quantitative and qualitative data can be collected using various methods. It is important to use a data collection method that will help answer your research question(s).

    Many data collection methods can be either qualitative or quantitative. For example, in surveys, observational studies or case studies, your data can be represented as numbers (e.g., using rating scales or counting frequencies) or as words (e.g., with open-ended questions or descriptions of what you observe).

    However, some methods are more commonly used in one type or the other.

    Quantitative data collection methods

    Surveys: List of closed or multiple choice questions that is distributed to a sample (online, in person, or over the phone).Experiments: Situation in which different types of variables are controlled and manipulated to establish cause-and-effect relationships.Observations: Observing subjects in a natural environment where variables can’t be controlled.

    Qualitative data collection methods

    Interviews: Asking open-ended questions verbally to respondents.Focus groups: Discussion among a group of people about a topic to gather opinions that can be used for further research.Ethnography: Participating in a community or organization for an extended period of time to closely observe culture and behavior.Literature review: Survey of published works by other authors.

    When to use qualitative vs. quantitative research

    A rule of thumb for deciding whether to use qualitative or quantitative data is:

    Use quantitative research if you want to confirm or test something (a theory or hypothesis)

    Use qualitative research if you want to understand something (concepts, thoughts, experiences)

    For most research topics you can choose a qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approach. Which type you choose depends on, among other things, whether you’re taking an inductive vs. deductive research approach; your research question(s); whether you’re doing experimental, correlational, or descriptive research; and practical considerations such as time, money, availability of data, and access to respondents.

    Research question

    How satisfied are students with their studies?

    Quantitative research approach

    You survey 300 students at your university and ask them questions such as: “on a scale from 1-5, how satisfied are your with your professors?”

    You can perform statistical analysis on the data and draw conclusions such as: “on average students rated their professors 4.4”.

    Qualitative research approach

    You conduct in-depth interviews with 15 students and ask them open-ended questions such as: “How satisfied are you with your studies?”, “What is the most positive aspect of your study program?” and “What can be done to improve the study program?”

    Based on the answers you get you can ask follow-up questions to clarify things. You transcribe all interviews using transcription software and try to find commonalities and patterns.

    स्रोत : www.scribbr.com

    Qualitative vs. Quantitative Study

    What is qualitative vs. quantitative study? Learn about the differences between these types of research methods.

    What Is Qualitative vs. Quantitative Study?

    Lissie Hoover

    June 01, 2021 in [ Doctoral Journey ]

    There are two distinct types of data collection and study—qualitative and quantitative. While both provide an analysis of data, they differ in their approach and the type of data they collect. Awareness of these approaches can help researchers construct their study and data collection methods.

    Qualitative vs. Quantitative Data Collection

    As qualitative and quantitative studies collect different data, their data collection methods differ considerably. Quantitative studies rely on numerical or measurable data. In contrast, qualitative studies rely on personal accounts or documents that illustrate in detail how people think or respond within society.

    Qualitative Research

    Qualitative research methods include gathering and interpreting non-numerical data. The following are some sources of qualitative data:1

    Interviews Focus groups Documents

    Personal accounts or papers

    Cultural records Observation

    In the course of a qualitative study, the researcher may conduct interviews or focus groups to collect data that is not available in existing documents or records. To allow freedom for varied or unexpected answers, interviews and focus groups may be unstructured or semi-structured.

    An unstructured or semi-structured format allows the researcher to pose open-ended questions and follow where the responses lead. The responses provide a comprehensive perspective on each individual’s experiences, which are then compared with those of other participants in the study.

    Quantitative Research

    Quantitative studies, in contrast, require different data collection methods. These methods include compiling numerical data to test causal relationships among variables. Some forms of data collection for this type of study include:1

    Experiments Questionnaires Surveys Database reports

    The above collection methods yield data that lends itself to numerical analysis. Questionnaires in this case have a multiple-choice format to generate countable answers, like yes or no, which can be turned into quantifiable data.

    Qualitative vs. Quantitative Outcomes

    One of the factors distinguishing qualitative from quantitative studies is the nature of the intended outcome. Qualitative researchers seek to learn from details of the testimonies of those they are studying, also called their informants. Over the course of a study, conclusions are drawn by compiling, comparing and evaluating the informants’ feedback and input. Qualitative research is often focused on answering the “why” behind a phenomenon, correlation or behavior.

    In contrast, quantitative data are analyzed numerically to develop a statistical picture of a trend or connection. Such statistical results may shed light on cause-and-effect relationships. They may either confirm or disprove the study’s original hypothesis. Whether positive or negative, the outcome can spark awareness and action. Quantitative research is often focused on answering the questions of “what” or “how” in regards to a phenomenon, correlation or behavior.

    Benefits and Limitations

    Each form of research has benefits and shortcomings. Researchers must consider their hypotheses and what forms of data collection and analysis are likely to produce the most relevant findings.

    Qualitative Studies: Pros and Cons

    The qualitative method allows for creativity, varied interpretations and flexibility. The scope of the research project can change as more information is gathered.

    However, qualitative studies are more subjective in their results and interpretation than are quantitative studies. The expertise and perspective of the researcher may strongly influence the interpretation of results and the conclusions reached, as personal bias can be hard to manage. In addition, qualitative studies often test a smaller sample size because of the costs and efforts associated with qualitative data collection methods.1

    Quantitative Studies: Pros and Cons

    Quantitative studies produce objective data, free from the subjectivity of a qualitative study. Results can be clearly communicated through statistics and numbers. Quantitative studies can be quickly produced with the benefit of data computing software.

    Yet, while the objectivity is a benefit of the quantitative method, it can be viewed as a more restrictive form of study. Participants cannot tailor their responses or add context. Further, statistical analysis requires a large data sample, which calls for a large pool of participants.1

    What Is a Common Goal of Qualitative and Quantitative Research?

    Both quantitative and qualitative methods seek to find patterns in the data they collect that point to a relationship between elements. Qualitative and quantitative data are both instrumental in supporting existing theories and developing new ones. Ultimately, the researcher must determine which kind of research best serves the goals of the study.

    Become a Qualitative or Quantitative Researcher

    Some researchers choose to adhere to and hone a single methodological approach throughout their time as doctoral learners — or in their profession. Research skills are critical in a variety of high-level careers.

    स्रोत : www.gcu.edu

    Qualitative vs Quantitative Research: Differences, Examples & Methods

    Quantitative data is information about quantities, and therefore numbers, and qualitative data is descriptive, and regards phenomenon which can be observed

    Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research: Differences, Examples & Methods


    Saul Mcleod, PhD

    Updated on March 16, 2023Reviewed by

    Olivia Guy-Evans

    There exists a fundamental distinction between two types of data:

    Quantitative data is information about quantities, and therefore numbers, and qualitative data is descriptive, and regards phenomenon which can be observed but not measured, such as language.

    What Is Qualitative Research?

    Qualitative research is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting non-numerical data, such as language. Qualitative research can be used to understand how an individual subjectively perceives and gives meaning to their social reality.

    Qualitative data is defined as non-numerical data, such as text, video, photographs, or audio recordings. This type of data can be collected using diary accounts or in-depth interviews and analyzed using grounded theory or thematic analysis.

    Qualitative research is multimethod in focus, involving an interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them.

    Interest in qualitative data came about as the result of the dissatisfaction of some psychologists (e.g., Carl Rogers) with the scientific study of psychologists such as behaviorists (e.g., Skinner ).

    Since psychologists study people, the traditional approach to science is not seen as an appropriate way of carrying out research since it fails to capture the totality of human experience and the essence of being human.  Exploring participants’ experiences is known as a phenomenological approach (re: Humanism ).

    The aim of qualitative research is to understand the social reality of individuals, groups, and cultures as nearly as possible as its participants feel it or live it. Thus, people and groups are studied in their natural setting.

    Research following a qualitative approach is exploratory and seeks to explain ‘how’ and ‘why’ a particular phenomenon, or behavior, operates as it does in a particular context. It can be used to generate hypotheses and theories from the data.

    Qualitative Methods

    There are different types of qualitative research methods, including diary accounts, in-depth interviews, documents, focus groups, case study research, and ethnography.

    The results of qualitative methods provide a deep understanding of how people perceive their social realities and in consequence, how they act within the social world.

    The researcher has several methods for collecting empirical materials, ranging from the interview to direct observation, to the analysis of artifacts, documents, and cultural records, to the use of visual materials or personal experience.

    A good example of a qualitative research method would be unstructured interviews which generate qualitative data through the use of open questions.  This allows the respondent to talk in some depth, choosing their own words.  This helps the researcher develop a real sense of a person’s understanding of a situation.

    Notice that qualitative data could be much more than just words or text. Photographs, videos, sound recordings, and so on, can be considered qualitative data.

    Qualitative Data Analysis

    Qualitative research is endlessly creative and interpretive. The researcher does not just leave the field with mountains of empirical data and then easily write up his or her findings.

    Qualitative interpretations are constructed, and various techniques can be used to make sense of the data, such as content analysis, grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967), thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006), or discourse analysis.

    For example, thematic analysis is a qualitative approach that involves identifying implicit or explicit ideas within the data. Themes will often emerge once the data has been coded.

    Key Features

    Events can be understood adequately only if they are seen in context. Therefore, a qualitative researcher immerses her/himself in the field, in natural surroundings. The contexts of inquiry are not contrived; they are natural. Nothing is predefined or taken for granted.

    Qualitative researchers want those who are studied to speak for themselves, to provide their perspectives in words and other actions. Therefore, qualitative research is an interactive process in which the persons studied teach the researcher about their lives.

    The qualitative researcher is an integral part of the data; without the active participation of the researcher, no data exists.

    The study’s design evolves during the research and can be adjusted or changed as it progresses. For the qualitative researcher, there is no single reality. It is subjective and exists only in reference to the observer.

    स्रोत : simplypsychology.org

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