What Is The Difference Between Qualitative Research And Quantitative Research?


18 Answers

Alex Wheeler Profile
Alex Wheeler answered
The answer to this question is within each of the words you have stated here.

Qualitative research, in short, is used when the meaning of something needs to be found. For example, qualitative research is asking a question such as 'Why are certain people in debt?' or 'What it means to be a child whose mother has recently died?' In basic words, qualitative research does not result in the obtaining of statistics, numbers or calculations.

Instead, the result of qualitative research is merely explained in words and descriptions of what the studies found. For example, if the researcher found that they found the people in debt to be very funny, care-free, friendly individuals, the research would explain this in the same sort of words. The researcher would report on the friendliness of the people they interviewed and how they all seemed to house a funny and care-free streak in their personality. If you want to find the meaning of something and describe it accurately, qualitative research is certainly the one to choose.

Quantitative research is of course, the complete opposite, and again, the clue is in the name. It is called quantitative research because it works with numbers, quantities and statistics.

Let's say a new drug was just created to help improve the lung health of a smoker. Quantitative researchers would get together a group of approximately 100 volunteer smokers and would prescribe them a series of the drug to take once a day for a whole month. Quantitative researchers would most likely ask them to breathe into an apparatus to record their length of breath and quality of oxygen daily. At the end of the trial, all of the 100 smokers' breath tests would be analysed to come up with an accurate result; for example, 80 out of 100 smokers' lung health improved.

The words may be similar but the differences are large!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
When you start to think about your research methodology, you need to think about the differences between qualitative and quantitative research.
Qualitative research explores attitudes, behaviour and experiences through such methods as interviews or focus groups. It attempts to get an in-depth opinion from participants. As it is attitudes, behaviour and experiences which are important, fewer people take part in the research, but the contact with these people tends to last a lot longer. Under the umbrella of qualitative research there are many different methodologies.
Quantitative research generates statistics through the use of large-scale survey research, using methods such as questionnaires or structured interviews. If a market researcher has stopped you on the streets, or you have filled in a questionnaire which has arrived through the post, this falls under the umbrella of quantitative research. This type of research reaches many more people, but the contact with those people is much quicker than it is in qualitative research.
Qualitative versus quantitative inquiry
Over the years there has been a large amount of complex discussion and argument surrounding the topic of research methodology and the theory of how inquiry should proceed. Much of this debate has centred on the issue of qualitative versus quantitative inquiry – which might be the best and which is more ‘scientific’. Different methodologies become popular at different social, political, historical and cultural times in our development, and, in my opinion, all methodologies have their specific strengths and weaknesses. These should be acknowledged and addressed by the researcher. Certainly, if you were to do so, it would help you to think about your research methodology in considerable depth.
Deciding which methodology is right for you
Don’t fall into the trap which many beginning (and experienced) researchers do in thinking that quantitative research is ‘better ’ than qualitative research. Neither is better than the other – they are just different and both have their strengths and weaknesses. What you will find, however, is that your instincts probably lean you towards one rather than the other. Listen to these instincts as you will find it more productive to conduct the type of research with which you will feel
Larry Patterson Profile
Larry Patterson answered
I remember a chemistry class a long time ago where we were given a liquid and had to do a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the unknown liquid.  We had do determine what items were in it (Qualitative)     and also to determine what quantity of each of the substances was in it (Quantitative)
Orwa Alabdulla Profile
Orwa Alabdulla answered
The main idea behind quantitative research is to be able to separate things easily so that they can be counted and modeled statistically, to remove factors that may distract from the intent of the research. A researcher generally has a very clear idea what is being measured before they start measuring it, and their study is set up with controls and a very clear blueprint. Tools used are intended to minimize any bias, so ideally are machines that collect information, and less ideally would be carefully randomized surveys. The result of quantitative research is a collection of numbers, which can be subjected to statistical analysis to come to results.Remaining separate from the research emotionally is a key aspect of quantitative research, as is removing researcher bias. For things like astronomy or other hard sciences, this means that quantitative research has a very minimal amount of bias at all. For things like sociological data, this means that the majority of bias is hopefully limited to that introduced by the people being studied, which can be somewhat accounted for in models. Quantitative is ideal for testing hypotheses, and for hard sciences trying to answer specific questions.Qualitative research, on the other hand, is a much more subjective form of research, in which the research allows themselves to introduce their own bias to help form a more complete picture. Qualitative research may be necessary in situations where it is unclear what exactly is being looked for in a study, so that the researcher needs to be able to determine what data is important and what isn’t. While quantitative research generally knows exactly what it’s looking for before the research begins, in qualitative research the focus of the study may become more apparent as time progresses.Often the data presented from qualitative research will be much less concrete than pure numbers as data. Instead, qualitative research may yield stories, or pictures, or descriptions of feelings and emotions. The interpretations given by research subjects are given weight in qualitative research, so there is no seeking to limit their bias. At the same time, researchers tend to become more emotionally attached to qualitative research, and so their own bias may also play heavily into the results.Within the social sciences, there are two opposing schools of thought. One holds that fields like sociology and psychology should attempt to be as rigorous and quantitative as possible, in order to yield results that can be more easily generalized, and in order to sustain the respect of the scientific community. Another holds that these fields benefit from qualitative research, as it allows for a richer study of a subject, and allows for information to be gathered that would otherwise be entirely missed by a quantitative approach. Although attempts have been made in recent years to find a stronger synthesis between the two, the debate rages on, with many social scientists falling sharply on one side or the other.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Quantitative research (or testing) produces a numeric kind of answer to a problem (for example, 'there are 1000 colony forming units/g of E. Coli in this sample of milk powder';

Qualitative research produces a yes-no answer to a problem (for example, yes E. Coli is detected in the sample) but tells you nothing about the quantity.

Shumaela Rana Profile
Shumaela Rana answered
Both these qualitative and the quantitative approaches to the research can be divergent, contrasting and complimentary. Both of these two types or researches seek to describe and explain phenomena, but have differing epistemological positions.

An extensive and broad distinction can be made between the quantitative and the qualitative approaches to the research. The quantitative research always involves the collecting of the data in the form of numbers, which can be measured so it is measurable in nature. The qualitative research always involves the collection of data in the form of words and images and that is why it is interpretable. The qualitative research often involves the field observation, the intensive case studies, the narrative analysis, and the methods of constant comparison.

The quantitative research is simply based on the empirical evidence and aims to describe, explain and predict. The most significant and important difference between the qualitative and the quantitative research is the way in which each approach treats data and collects data. The type of the data generated in the course of conducting research depends very much on the method used to collect it. Therefore, it is necessary for a researcher to consider whether a qualitative or quantitative approach would be more appropriate whilst devising a research plan.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The main difference between the two approaches lies in the nature of information collected and the way it is analyzed. While there is a tendency for qualitative research approaches to involve the gathering of large amounts of ‘rich’ information from a few subjects, and for quantitative research approached to involve the gathering of relatively small amounts of data from large numbers of subjects, it should be emphasized that this is only a tendency.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Qualitative is analyzing WHAT is present in the sample and quantitative is HOW much is present in that given sample.
Eric Brandenburg Profile
Get figures with quantitative Market research, quantify information.

Get insights, precise information with qualitative market research.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Qualitative is to use your knowledge.

Quantitative is to question people like survey.
sarah pollard Profile
sarah pollard answered
As a general definition, quantitative is numbers e.g. there was a two times increase in blah.
Qualitative is non numeric e.g. there was an increase in blah.
Aisha Profile
Aisha answered
Qualitative research has little emphasis no quantity and more on quality. And the quantitative has a lot of data in the research. Both are important in their own aspects.
John Nawrocki Profile
John Nawrocki answered
Qualitative answers the question - What is it?
Quantitative answers the question - What is it and how much of it is there?
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Quantitative Data is the information which one can count like The set of people whose age is below 50.

Qualitative Data is the data which describe meaning rather making statical conclusions Like student who are taller in the class.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
With reference to research techniques and methods discuss some difference between qualitative and quantitative research

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