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What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research?

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❶Descriptive statistics help us to summarise our data whereas inferential statistics are used to identify statistically significant differences between groups of data such as intervention and control groups in a randomised control study. Nothing is predefined or taken for granted.

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It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research.

Qualitative Research is also used to uncover trends in thought and opinions, and dive deeper into the problem. Qualitative data collection methods vary using unstructured or semi-structured techniques. The sample size is typically small, and respondents are selected to fulfil a given quota. Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics.

It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and other defined variables — and generalize results from a larger sample population. Quantitative Research uses measurable data to formulate facts and uncover patterns in research. Quantitative data collection methods are much more structured than Qualitative data collection methods. Quantitative data collection methods include various forms of surveys — online surveys, paper surveys , mobile surveys and kiosk surveys, face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, longitudinal studies, website interceptors, online polls, and systematic observations.

Snap has many robust features that will help your organization effectively gather and analyze quantitative data. While defining quantitative and qualitative research based on their uses and purposes may be considered a practical approach for researcher, the difference actually lies on their roots: Procedures, designs, concepts, purposes and uses emanate from there.

Example on qualitative research referring to quality where problems are answered without generally focusing on quantity, are descriptions in words coming form interviews, discussions or observations. However when words are translated to quantity in order to describe or to generalize, then the research is now called quantitatitive research. The bottom lines are the questions: Many thanks for giving me clear understanding around the differences between the qualitative and quantative research.

Thanks a millions time. I was struggling to get an idea of how to approach the definitions. In fact I was even hesitating to answer the questions confidently. Thanks for the distinct comparison between qualitative and quantitative Research, very very helpful. Thank you for making me to understand the difference between qualitative Research and quantitative research.

Thanks a lot for the insightful distinction between Qualitative and Quantitative research. However, the differences as you enumerated did not factor in the advantages and disadvantages of both research tools. The problem of adequate validity or reliability is a major criticism. Because of the subjective nature of qualitative data and its origin in single contexts, it is difficult to apply conventional standards of reliability and validity.

For example, because of the central role played by the researcher in the generation of data, it is not possible to replicate qualitative studies. Also, contexts, situations, events, conditions, and interactions cannot be replicated to any extent nor can generalizations be made to a wider context than the one studied with any confidence. The time required for data collection, analysis and interpretation are lengthy. Analysis of qualitative data is difficult and expert knowledge of an area is necessary to try to interpret qualitative data, and great care must be taken when doing so, for example, if looking for symptoms of mental illness.

Because of close researcher involvement, the researcher gains an insider's view of the field. This allows the researcher to find issues that are often missed such as subtleties and complexities by the scientific, more positivistic inquiries. Qualitative descriptions can play the important role of suggesting possible relationships, causes, effects and dynamic processes. Qualitative research uses a descriptive, narrative style; this research might be of particular benefit to the practitioner as she or he could turn to qualitative reports in order to examine forms of knowledge that might otherwise be unavailable, thereby gaining new insight.

Quantitative research gathers data in a numerical form which can be put into categories, or in rank order, or measured in units of measurement. This type of data can be used to construct graphs and tables of raw data. Research is used to test a theory and ultimately support or reject it. Experiments typically yield quantitative data, as they are concerned with measuring things.

However, other research methods, such as controlled observations and questionnaires can produce both quantitative information. For example, a rating scale or closed questions on a questionnaire would generate quantitative data as these produce either numerical data or data that can be put into categories e.

Experimental methods limit the possible ways in which a research participant can react to and express appropriate social behavior. Findings are therefore likely to be context-bound and simply a reflection of the assumptions which the researcher brings to the investigation. Statistics help us turn quantitative data into useful information to help with decision making. We can use statistics to summarise our data, describing patterns, relationships, and connections.

Statistics can be descriptive or inferential. Descriptive statistics help us to summarise our data whereas inferential statistics are used to identify statistically significant differences between groups of data such as intervention and control groups in a randomised control study. Quantitative experiments do not take place in natural settings. In addition, they do not allow participants to explain their choices or the meaning of the questions may have for those participants Carr, Poor knowledge of the application of statistical analysis may negatively affect analysis and subsequent interpretation Black, Variability of data quantity: Large sample sizes are needed for more accurate analysis.

Small scale quantitative studies may be less reliable because of the low quantity of data Denscombe, This also affects the ability to generalize study findings to wider populations. The researcher might miss observing phenomena because of focus on theory or hypothesis testing rather than on the theory of hypothesis generation. Sophisticated software removes much of the need for prolonged data analysis, especially with large volumes of data involved Antonius, Quantitative data is based on measured values and can be checked by others because numerical data is less open to ambiguities of interpretation.

Hypotheses can also be tested because of the used of statistical analysis Antonius, Doing quantitative research in the social sciences: An integrated approach to research design, measurement and statistics. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology , 3, 77— The strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative research: Journal of advanced nursing, 20 4 , The Good Research Guide:


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What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research? Susan E. DeFranzo September 16, Many times those that undertake a research project often find they are not aware of the differences between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research methods.

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Qualitative Methods Quantitative Methods Methods include focus groups, in-depth interviews, and reviews of documents for types of themes.

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Learn about the distinction between quantitative and qualitative methods of research, and some advantages and disadvantages of each. Learn about the differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods and when to take a deductive or an inductive approach to market research.

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Research Methods; Qualitative vs. Quantitative ; Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research. By Saul McLeod, updated 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. On Methods: What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative approaches? Editors Note: We are very fortunate to have Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D. our new Methods Editor, sharing with us her considerable expertise on research Ben-Eliyahu completed her doctorate in developmental psychology at Duke University, where she honed very strong skills in methods.