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Qualitative Approaches


❶It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. The effort tends to evolve toward one core category that is central.

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Qualitative research , on the other hand, inquires deeply into specific experiences, with the intention of describing and exploring meaning through text, narrative, or visual-based data, by developing themes exclusive to that set of participants. Research in mathematical sciences, such as physics , is also "quantitative" by definition, though this use of the term differs in context.

In the social sciences, the term relates to empirical methods, originating in both philosophical positivism and the history of statistics , which contrast with qualitative research methods. Qualitative research produces information only on the particular cases studied, and any more general conclusions are only hypotheses. Quantitative methods can be used to verify which of such hypotheses are true.

A comprehensive analysis of articles published in the top two American sociology journals between and found that roughly two thirds of these articles used quantitative method. Quantitative research is generally closely affiliated with ideas from 'the scientific method' , which can include:.

Quantitative research is often contrasted with qualitative research , which purports to be focused more on discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships, including classifications of types of phenomena and entities, in a manner that does not involve mathematical models.

Although a distinction is commonly drawn between qualitative and quantitative aspects of scientific investigation, it has been argued that the two go hand in hand. Although quantitative investigation of the world has existed since people first began to record events or objects that had been counted, the modern idea of quantitative processes have their roots in Auguste Comte 's positivist framework.

Positivist scholars like Comte believed only scientific methods rather than previous spiritual explanations for human behavior could advance. Quantitative methods are an integral component of the five angles of analysis fostered by the data percolation methodology, [7] which also includes qualitative methods, reviews of the literature including scholarly , interviews with experts and computer simulation, and which forms an extension of data triangulation.

Quantitative methods have limitations. These studies do not provide reasoning behind participants' responses, they often do not reach underrepresented populations, and they may span long periods in order to collect the data. Statistics is the most widely used branch of mathematics in quantitative research outside of the physical sciences, and also finds applications within the physical sciences, such as in statistical mechanics.

Statistical methods are used extensively within fields such as economics, social sciences and biology. Quantitative research using statistical methods starts with the collection of data, based on the hypothesis or theory. Usually a big sample of data is collected — this would require verification, validation and recording before the analysis can take place.

Causal relationships are studied by manipulating factors thought to influence the phenomena of interest while controlling other variables relevant to the experimental outcomes. In the field of health, for example, researchers might measure and study the relationship between dietary intake and measurable physiological effects such as weight loss, controlling for other key variables such as exercise.

Quantitatively based opinion surveys are widely used in the media, with statistics such as the proportion of respondents in favor of a position commonly reported. In opinion surveys, respondents are asked a set of structured questions and their responses are tabulated.

In the field of climate science, researchers compile and compare statistics such as temperature or atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. Empirical relationships and associations are also frequently studied by using some form of general linear model , non-linear model, or by using factor analysis.

A fundamental principle in quantitative research is that correlation does not imply causation , although some such as Clive Granger suggest that a series of correlations can imply a degree of causality. It is usually more exploratory in nature. Quantitative Research on the other hand focuses more in counting and classifying features and constructing statistical models and figures to explain what is observed. Qualitative Research is ideal for earlier phases of research projects while for the latter part of the research project, Quantitative Research is highly recommended.

Quantitative Research provides the researcher a clearer picture of what to expect in his research compared to Qualitative Research. The researcher serves as the primary data gathering instrument in Qualitative Research.

Here, the researcher employs various data-gathering strategies, depending upon the thrust or approach of his research. Examples of data-gathering strategies used in Qualitative Research are individual in-depth interviews, structured and non-structured interviews, focus groups, narratives, content or documentary analysis, participant observation and archival research.

On the other hand, Quantitative Research makes use of tools such as questionnaires, surveys, measurements and other equipment to collect numerical or measurable data.

The presentation of data in a Qualitative Research is in the form of words from interviews and images videos or objects such as artifacts.

If you are conducting a Qualitative Research what will most likely appear in your discussion are figures in the form of graphs. However, if you are conducting a Quantitative Research, what will most likely appear in your discussion are tables containing data in the form of numbers and statistics. Qualitative Research is primarily subjective in approach as it seeks to understand human behavior and reasons that govern such behavior. Researchers have the tendency to become subjectively immersed in the subject matter in this type of research method.

In Quantitative Research, researchers tend to remain objectively separated from the subject matter. This is because Quantitative Research is objective in approach in the sense that it only seeks precise measurements and analysis of target concepts to answer his inquiry.

Qualitative research , Quantitative research. Debates have been ongoing, tackling which method is better than the other. The reason why this remains unresolved until now is that, each has its own strengths and weaknesses which actually vary depending upon the topic the researcher wants to discuss. 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: Handbook of Qualitative Research.

The discovery of grounded theory; strategies for qualitative research. Nursing research, 17 4 , Introduction to Social Research: Quantitatie and Qualitative Approaches.


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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: Quality and quantity.

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In the world of research, there are two general approaches to gathering and reporting information: qualitative and quantitative approaches. The qualitative approach to research is focused on understanding a phenomenon from a closer perspective.

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Quantitative Methods 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. Qualitative research is inductive and does not require a hypothesis in order to start the research process. Let's take a closer look at this important difference, and dig a bit deeper into three key terms that help define quantitative and qualitative research.

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Quantitative research is “explaining phenomena by collecting numerical data that are analysed using mathematically based methods (in particular statistics).. Qualitative research seeks to answer questions about why and how people behave in the way that they provides in-depth information about human behaviour. The research employed research methods design drawing on quantitative as well as qualitative research methods. Introduction: Understanding the basics of research methods can feel as if one is walking a very fine line between complete comprehension and tremendously bad failure.