Research – Methodology and Ethics

Topics: Qualitative research, Scientific method, Quantitative research Pages: 3 (994 words) Published: November 5, 2012
This essay attempts to identify and sum up two research methods (Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods), assess their relative strengths and weaknesses and explain how two ethical issues arise from research. Qualitative and Quantitative research approaches are two of the various methods used in sociological research. The use of these methods can be very important and can normally produce efficient, realistic and logical results. So what is qualitative research and what is quantitative research? To begin with, we look at the distinctions between the forms of research. Thus, on first consideration, the use of questionnaires as a research technique might be seen as a quantitative strategy, whereas interviews and observations might be thought of as qualitative techniques. In addition, quantitative and qualitative approaches are strongly associated with objectivity (quantitative) and subjectivity (qualitative). The quantitative research method tends to focus on data analysis in terms of numbers whereas the qualitative research method tends to take a scientific approach in describing persons, events and so forth without the use of numerical data. Both research methods have their strengths and weaknesses. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD

The quantitative research method has the following attributes, from which it draws its strength from. It can be replicated; it has precision, in that it is characterised by accuracy through quantitative and reliable measurement, there is the element of control through sampling and design has the ability to produce causality statements, through the use of controlled experiments and statistical techniques that allow for sophisticated analyses. WEAKNESSES

The method has, however, its set of weaknesses, and these are as follows. Due to the complexity of human experience, it is difficult to rule out or control all the variables and also because of human agency people do not all respond in...
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