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Diffrentiate Between Quantitative and Qualitative Research

By mjamsheed Jan 23, 2012 483 Words
Distinction between Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Research can be defined as search for Knowledge with an open mind to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas or develop new theories. Quantitative and qualitative research is two methods of research. Quantitative Research deals with analyzing the subject and gathering measurable data. While Qualitative research deals with gathering of mainly verbal data rather than measurements. Gathered data is then analyzed in an interpretative manner, subjective, impressionistic or even diagnostic. Quantitative research is opposite to Qualitative research. It has a standard format with very few inter-disciplinary differences. It usually put forth a hypothesis and tries to prove or disprove it with the help of mathematical and statistical means. They are most commonly used by Physical Scientist although Economist and Social scientists tend to use it. This kind of experiment requires a random study group. (Shuttle Worth, 2010, 13) There are various pros and cons of this research method. Quantitative research is the best way of finalizing a result by proving or disproving a hypothesis. Results are statistically analyzed and a comprehensive answer is reached. Unbiased and real results can be obtained by proper designing of the experiment. Quantitative research is helpful in testing various results obtained by series of Qualitative research and thus arriving at a final answer. On the contrary above research method is difficult and expensive. It requires that the study groups are randomly placed and it also demands a thorough knowledge of Statistics. Sometimes in order to arrive at the conclusion, retesting is also required which again makes the process more expensive and time consuming. There is little room for grey areas or uncertainty in this method since the final answer is either a Yes or No. Qualitative research is used where a in depth analysis of the subject is required such as in Social science, human behavior and market research. It deals with why and how of decision making. Designer doing a market research for understanding general market trend can be considered as a form of Qualitative research. It usually involves Interview, Survey and Case study. It’s one of the oldest research techniques which don’t have a standard format or structure. (Shuttle Worth, 2010, 13) Qualitative research is very helpful in situations where it’s a question of yes or no. It’s very easy to plan and costs little compared to quantitative research. Method is very flexible and generates useful data unlike in Quantitative research where an unproven hypothesis leaves nothing. Primary disadvantage of this method is that it requires lot of planning in order to get accurate results. Another drawback is that the results can’t be mathematically analyzed. It can only give observation rather than results.

Reference: Shuttleworth, M (2010, How to Write a Research Paper, Oskar Blakstad.


Jamsheed Maleth
EF University Preparation

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