The quantitative and qualitative research traditions can be thought of as distinct cultures marked by different values, beliefs, and norms. 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.
In the simplest terms, it 's about the nature of the data you collect and analyze. Quantitative research uses data that are associated with quantity -- some measure with numbers that can be assessed through comparisons of means, frequencies, and usually statistical tests. Qualitative research collects and analyzes data that are descriptive in nature -- think of anything that can take the eventual form of a text, such as interviews or descriptive observations of behavior.
In Miles and Huberman 's 1994 book Qualitative Data Analysis, quantitative researcher Fred Kerlinger is quoted as saying, "There 's no such thing as qualitative data. Everything is either 1 or 0". To this another researcher, D. T. Campbell, asserts "all research ultimately has a qualitative grounding" (p. 40). This back and forth banter among qualitative and quantitative researchers is "essentially unproductive" according to Miles and Huberman. They and many other researchers agree that these two research methods need each other more often than not. However, because typically qualitative data involves words and quantitative data involves numbers, there are some researchers who feel that one is better (or more scientific) than the other. Another major difference between the two is that qualitative research is inductive and quantitative research is deductive. In qualitative research, a
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