Quantitative vs Qualitative Research

August 31, 2019



Definition of Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is one that provides insights and understanding of the problem set. It is an unstructured, exploratory research method that studies highly complex phenomena that are impossible to elucidate with quantitative research. Although, it generates ideas or hypotheses for later quantitative research.

Qualitative research is used to gain an in-depth understanding of human behavior, experience, attitudes, intentions, and motivations, on the basis of observation and interpretation, to find out the way people think and feel. It is a form of research in which the researcher gives more weight to the views of the participants. Case study, grounded theory, ethnography, historical and phenomenology are the types of qualitative research.

Definition of Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is a form of research that relies on the methods of natural sciences, which produces numerical data and hard facts. It aims at establishing cause and effect relationship between two variables by using mathematical, computational and statistical methods. The research is also known as empirical research as it can be accurately and precisely measured.

The data collected by the researcher can be divided into categories or put into rank, or it can be measured in terms of units of measurement. Graphs and tables of raw data can be constructed with the help of quantitative research, making it easier for the researcher to analyze the results.

Comparison chart

BASIS FOR COMPARISON
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH
Meaning
Qualitative research is a method of inquiry that develops an understanding of human and social sciences, to find the way people think and feel.
Quantitative research is a research method that is used to generate numerical data and hard facts, by employing statistical, logical and mathematical techniques.
Nature
Holistic
Particularistic
Approach
Subjective
Objective
Research type
Exploratory
Conclusive
Reasoning
Inductive
Deductive
Sampling
Purposive
Random
Data
Verbal
Measurable
Inquiry
Process-oriented
Result-oriented
Hypothesis
Generated
Tested
Elements of analysis
Words, pictures, and objects
Numerical data
Objective
To explore and discover ideas used in the ongoing processes.
To examine the cause and effect relationship between variables.
Methods
Non-structured techniques like In-depth interviews, group discussions, etc.
Structured techniques such as surveys, questionnaires and observations.
Result
Develops initial understanding
Recommends the final course of action


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