Dr. Willow Aureala
March 29, 2011
Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods
There are two types of research methods: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research methods are complex meaningful analyses characterized by processes and meanings that are not measured in terms of mathematical measurements. Quantitative research however, relies and builds on mathematical procedures and methods, such as frequency, quality, amount and statistical procedure. There are unique characteristics which distinguish one research process from the other. Purpose
The purpose of research is to answer questions by using a “predefined set of procedures” (Mack, Woodsong, MacQueen, & Namey, 2005). Each type of research, qualitative and quantitative, seeks to achieve this purpose with a different approach. “Qualitative research provides information about the ‘human’ side of an issue – that is, the often contradictory behaviors, beliefs, opinion, emotions, and relationships of individuals” (Mack, et al, 2005). Concerned with the “how” and “why”, it seeks to understand and describe naturally occurring phenomena. Qualitative research is approached using grounded theory, interviews, in-depth interviews, and focus groups to discover and interpret the meanings and perceptions of a specific group of people. Qualitative research takes more of an inductive approach to theory development and usually develops a theory based on the outcome and information of the research. On the other hand, “quantitative research provides brief presentations of distributions, tables, graphs, and formula driven findings to describe, compare, and show relationships between and among a carefully defined set of variables” (Picciano, 2007). It seeks to gather numerical and statistical data using experiments, measurements, fixed-response questionnaires, and tests on a large random group. Quantitative research tends to take more of a...