Quantitative Qualitative Research

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In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting Quantitative and Qualitative research methods, discussing the Epistemology, methodology, and the varying techniques each method uses. The essay will also take a brief look at the Ethical considerations of research using relevant psychology examples. Here, when considering the epistemology behind both research methods, we must see it in terms of our essential philosophy of ideas and concepts and the ways in which it can be shaped (Pidgeon & Henwood, 1997, p. 247). The methodology behind the approaches looks at the requirements to carrying out successful research (Fox, 2011, slide 3). Arguably, one of the major differences between the two would be the methods involved in applying both quantitative and qualitative approaches to research. This essay will take a look at these differences and how it affects the outcome of the research and the information produced.

The epistemology of these two approaches to social research demonstrates a very clear dividing line between Qualitative and Quantitative research methods. The idea behind Quantitative research follows this progression of the ‘natural sciences’ (Neuman, 2006, p.7). Quantitative researchers believe that there is the possibility to describe our reality and to employ an unbiased approach to research. Quantitative research follows the idea of scientific knowledge as a more reformed way of understanding and acquiring knowledge (Fox, 2011, slide 7). On the contrary, Qualitative research follows this growing trend in post-modernism, where scientific problems and claims can and should be challenged. This interpretive social science approach looks at how our understanding of life as we know it is constructed, and that knowledge is tied to power (Fox, 2011, slide 19-21).

There are aspects of qualitative and quantitative research methods that carry quite substantial differences. Within social scientific research, there are three predominant approaches that can

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