Skip Nav

Qualitative research


❶The role of the researcher is pivotal to the qualitative research process, as the researcher and the research are interwoven and inseparable. So what is the difference between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research?


Navigation menu
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Qualitative Research

Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique for measuring social and psychological attributes and phenomena. This field is central to much quantitative research that is undertaken within the social sciences. Quantitative research may involve the use of proxies as stand-ins for other quantities that cannot be directly measured. Tree-ring width, for example, is considered a reliable proxy of ambient environmental conditions such as the warmth of growing seasons or amount of rainfall.

Although scientists cannot directly measure the temperature of past years, tree-ring width and other climate proxies have been used to provide a semi-quantitative record of average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere back to A. When used in this way, the proxy record tree ring width, say only reconstructs a certain amount of the variance of the original record. The proxy may be calibrated for example, during the period of the instrumental record to determine how much variation is captured, including whether both short and long term variation is revealed.

In the case of tree-ring width, different species in different places may show more or less sensitivity to, say, rainfall or temperature: In most physical and biological sciences , the use of either quantitative or qualitative methods is uncontroversial, and each is used when appropriate. In the social sciences, particularly in sociology , social anthropology and psychology , the use of one or other type of method can be a matter of controversy and even ideology, with particular schools of thought within each discipline favouring one type of method and pouring scorn on to the other.

The majority tendency throughout the history of social science, however, is to use eclectic approaches-by combining both methods. Qualitative methods might be used to understand the meaning of the conclusions produced by quantitative methods.

Using quantitative methods, it is possible to give precise and testable expression to qualitative ideas. This combination of quantitative and qualitative data gathering is often referred to as mixed-methods research. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article needs additional citations for verification.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article needs attention from an expert in Sociology. Please add a reason or a talk parameter to this template to explain the issue with the article.

WikiProject Sociology may be able to help recruit an expert. Antipositivism Case study research Econometrics Falsifiability Market research Positivism Qualitative research Quantitative marketing research Quantitative psychology Quantification science Observational study Sociological positivism Statistical survey Statistics. An Introduction 4th ed. Trends and Contributing Factors".

A choice of research strategy for identifying community-based action skill requirements in the process of delivering housing market renewal. Creating Models in Psychological Research. A Note on Research Methodologies". Journal of Geophysical Research. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This page was last edited on 7 August , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Library resources about Quantitative research. 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: 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. Research Methods Qualitative vs.

Quantity vs Quality

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Qualitative research is a scientific method of observation to gather non-numerical data. This type of research "refers to the meanings, concepts definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols, and description of things" and not to their "counts or measures.".

Privacy FAQs

Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research in data collection, online surveys, paper surveys, quantifiable research, and quantifiable data.

About Our Ads

Qualitative research is designed to reveal a target audience’s range of behavior and the perceptions that drive it with reference to specific topics or issues. It uses in-depth studies of small groups of people to guide and support the construction of hypotheses. About this journal. Qualitative Research (QRJ) is a bimonthly peer reviewed journal that publishes original research and review articles on the methodological diversity and multi-disciplinary focus of qualitative research. The journal is edited by Bella Dicks, Karen Henwood, William Housley and Book Reviews Editor Robin Smith.

Cookie Info

What is qualitative research and how can we define it? In the handbook of qualitative research Denzin and Lincoln () describe qualitative research as involving “ an interpretive naturalistic approach to the world. 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.