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Quantitative Research and Qualitative Research Comparison

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Data Analysis
Wordcount: 2896 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Research is defined as the study of a certain subject matter using the scientific method. The common dispute, often argued in academic books communicates the ideas, flaws of both approaches nestled in academic books. Scouring the internet to find articles that deal with nonspecific issues that are closely associated with quantitative and qualitative; it separates by placing a line on notable research writings.


Research is ubiquitous and is carried out by all disciplines. The discipline that deals with human studies or study of society and politics is qualitative in nature while logical based studies such as natural science is quantitative in nature. Despite different methodology, research in each discipline uses a systematic approach to increase knowledge in an existing subject matter.

Research can be done two separate ways; quantitative research or qualitative research depending on the questions that are being asked. Both forms of research are of equal importance in the human service field. Researchers first must decide what subject they are going to do research on, and then decide which research type will be best suited with the subject matter. In this paper, we will define appropriate academic research, quantitative research and qualitative research. Explain how they differ and relate each to the human services field and the scientific method. Describe how to decide whether to use a quantitative or a qualitative research methodology. Provide examples of what sort of study is appropriate for each methodology and explain why.

Qualitative and Quantitative Methods


Quantitative research is a more comprehensive approach while qualitative research is detail oriented and endeavors to achieve a deeper understanding of the case involved. A way to think of this is to view one method as strategic and the other as tactical. Qualitative exploration techniques and quantitative examination strategies each produces favorable circumstances as far as correlations. Subjective exploration strategies would incorporate exercises, for example, singular meetings, little gathering interviews, center gatherings and observational studies. The bulk of qualitative research falls under the classification of descriptive designs but can turn into quantitative research when the researchers endeavor to make comparisons or to exhibit a random sample of opinions (Newman, 2016). Quantitative or qualitative research methodology employs methods that in vast spectrum. Methods include focus groups, in-depth interviews and reviews of documents for types of themes, surveys, structured interviews & observations, and reviews of records or documents for numeric information. It is a process inductive to formulate theories or hypotheses versus deductive process used in the quantitative approach.

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In quantitative research, the problem is the guide to questions or hypothesis that are asked in the study. While using qualitative research, the problem being discussed creates the importance of the central idea. Quantitative research uses a more closed-ended approach and uses set responses to questions. Whereas, the qualitative approach uses open ended questions to the participant. Quantitative research depends on the quantity of the data it is researching by using a large number of participants, set responses and reporting the facts in an unbiased manner. Qualitative research uses a smaller group of participants and writes their report based on their own bias and judgment and the researchers own personal reflection (Creswell, 2012).

Quantitative exploration techniques, for example, overviews and substance investigations may have some difficulties and focal points as far as correlations. The way of quantitative techniques is to figure out what happens and make taught surmises with reference to why the practices do happen. The attention is on the “what/when” and not on the “why.” Comparisons utilizing qualitative techniques can be summed up much less demanding in light of the fact that the exploration is accounted for in numbers as opposed to in stories. Numbers can be thought about while stories must be by one means or another coded into qualities that can be analyzed or by one means or another coded in a way that takes into account examination. Quantitative investigations of online networking practices would dive into the quantity of frequencies of specific practices and how those contrast with the quantity of occurrences of logged off practices. The test of this correlation is that there is no sign of why the members are acting in such a way and thusly, speculations about conduct and the possibility to adjust those practices are troublesome, best case scenario.

There are particular qualities and shortcomings of qualitative exploration techniques as they apply to social networking practices of teenagers online and disconnected from the net. As per Treadwell (2014, p. 192), a quality of subjective techniques, for example, center gatherings or an individual meetings is that “ethnographic strategies can catch conduct and dialect, and additionally individuals’ clarifications of dialect and conduct, and can allow them to beware of the relationship between individuals’ communicated sees and their practices.” Ethnographic exploration permits the scientist to get more solid and substantial data from the members since practices can be contrasted with verbal reactions and verbal reactions are frequently recorded in a characteristic as opposed to a simulated or exploratory setting (Treadwell, 2014). Young people, much the same as grown-ups, are inclined to giving the answers and acting the way that they think an analyst needs them to act. At the point when there is an approach to determine the status of the precision of answers offered and to take into consideration members to be met in regular surroundings, the information gathered will be essentially more legitimate. Some eminent shortcomings in utilizing subjective techniques with online networking conduct incorporate that the vast majority on social networking tend to keep their personalities in part private. In that way, they are demonstrating that they don’t need their characters to be completely accessible nor would they like to be considered. Subjective strategies for exploration is a great deal more obtrusive and fundamentally less unknown than quantitative techniques. With a specific end goal to comprehend a member utilizing subjective techniques requires broad meeting time, bunches of financing keeping in mind the end goal to get the members and meeting assets, and assets for breaking down the broad stories gathered from the meetings. Further, as indicated by Treadwell (2014, p. 192), “the variability of human conduct after sometimes puts a question mark over the unwavering quality of discoveries, (and) there can be inquiries regarding the legitimacy of the determination and the degree which members speak to a more extensive populace.”

Quantitative strategies, for example, studies have their positives and negatives too. Utilizing an overview as a part of a plea to think about online networking conduct and disconnected from the net conduct would have numerous issues. One issue would be that what individuals report about their conduct may not as a matter of progression be valid. Studies are regularly close-finished and don’t consider the profundity of answers that will loan to creating keen conclusions session the practices. Another issue would be that the subtleties of answers can’t be learned unless the inquiries are open-finished which then may bring about difficulties in gathering measurements from the examination. Further, as per Treadwell (2014, p. 193), Surveys … pose some questions that respondents may discover significant, ask different inquiries that respondents would discover insignificant, and totally miss some inquiries that respondents would view as critical.” along these lines, speculations drawn from study results have confinements. By attempting to decide results that can be summed up to the general population, an “expansiveness of members,” overviews may miss the top to bottom learning that can be picked up from a top to bottom examination of certain individuals. In online networking investigation we might have the capacity to decide how frequently young people carry on absolutely online versus disconnected from the net (in the event that they are totally honest), nonetheless, we may miss the critical information of why they act the way they do.

Which technique to pick, subjective or quantitative, is a critical inquiry in creating research thinks about. As a rule, the exploration questions themselves help the specialist to figure out which sort of techniques would prompt the best kind of answers for the study. On the off chance that a scientist is more inspired by the “why” behind human conduct, subjective strategies, for example, in individual meetings, ethnographic studies and center gatherings will consider furthermore customized addressing. This sort of addressing will bear the cost of the analyst to make clearer associations between the “what” of human conduct and the “why.” On the other hand, if a specialist is keener on deciding the “what happens when “or” when it happens” sorts of data, then quantitative examination will better permit that on the grounds that quantitative exploration evaluates human conduct in ways that permit a scientist to attract a few speculations to the all-inclusive community from the assembled information. For exploration regarding online networking practices of teenagers versus their disconnected from the net practices, I would surmise that a mix of both sorts of examination would be valuable to me. In measuring the practices, it is valuable to use quantitative strategies, for example, reviews and agendas so I can accumulate gauge information about what sorts of practices young people are displaying both regarding their online practices and their disconnected from the net practices. I think it is productive to finish the overviews and agendas both by doing a substance critique of their communicative media interactions and by having the participant’s do a self-reporting. Along these lines, I could have some examination information also that may prompt a few speculations about how young people report their practices. I surmise that some subjective strategies, for example, perceptions and meetings or center gatherings would gather some data about what members see and feel inside their own particular universes, in their own particular words. Why do they act the way they do and how does their conviction framework affect their practices on and disconnected from the net? In spite of the fact that online networking has given a voice to such a large number of voiceless individuals, I am not persuaded that either doing “voiceless” exploration utilizing reviews and quantitative strategies or subjective techniques, for example, meetings or center gatherings will prompt a full answer if used freely. In this way, I totally concur with Albert Einstein who said, “Not all that matters that can be checked numbers, and not all that matters that tallies can be checked” (Treadwell, 2014, p. 191).

Choosing the right methodology

  There are four main aspects of the research methodology: design, sampling, data collection, the data analysis.  If inappropriate methodology is used, or if appropriate methodology is used poorly, the results of a study could be misleading. The methods can be pattern to the appropriate desired outcome in which the researcher is directed too. For example,

Design could be best suited for identifed issues with in special group populations by crafing a program more ideal to address the area of concern. Sampling is best utlized when there is review of historical dara for populations with various subgroups, where the analsyt ensures that those groups are properly representated in the case study. According to Aguinis and Edwards (2014) “applying a different or more robust methodology might address the research problem more effectively in a future study. A underlying goal of scholarly research is not only to show what works, but to demonstrate what doesn’t work or what needs further clarification.”

Deciding Between Quantitative and Qualitative Research Method

Qualitative methods are used to gain understanding of the experiences and attitudes of the participants. This qualitative method answers the questions of “what, how and why” while the quantitative method answers the “how many” or “how much” questions (McCusker & Gunaydin, 2015).

There are different designs used based on the method being used in the research. The experimental design is used in quantitative research because the researcher decides if an activity or materials being used will make a difference in the results for the participants. Quantitative research also uses correlational designs; which is a procedure where the researcher measures the relationship between two or more factors using the statistical procedure. Survey designs are also used in quantitative research and are based on issuing a survey or questionnaire to a small group of participants to help identify changes in attitudes, opinions, behaviors or characteristics among a larger group of individuals (Creswell, 2012).

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Qualitative research uses the grounded theory design which helps the researcher obtain a general explanation in the views of the participants. Ethnographic design is also used in qualitative research by using a procedure that studies a cultural group shared patterns of behavior, beliefs and language that grows over time. When the researcher uses the narrative research design in qualitative research the researcher is able to portray the lives of certain individuals, gather and tell their stories and write narratives about their experiences. Action research design combines both quantitative and qualitative research to help focus on addressing problems in schools and in the classroom (Creswell, 2012).


In conclusion, we explained the quantitative and qualitative research method and compared both the research methods. Described how to use quantitative or qualitative research methodology, provided examples of what sort of study is appropriate for each methodology, and explained the purposes involved.  Although, there are some particular areas which require, only one type of research which mainly depends on the information required by the researcher.  While qualitative research tends to be interpretative, quantitative research is concrete.



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