Qualitative versus Quantitative research is an interesting discussion to say the least. To discuss the two one has to know the key differences between them. Let’s begin with qualitative research.
The main driving purpose of qualitative research is to gain an understanding of underlying reasons or motivations for a specific purpose and qualitative is more quality over quantity. It can also be used to provide insights into a setting or helping generate a hypothesis for later quantitative research. The sample size of qualitative is usually a small number of non-representative cases. The subjects selected are expected to complete a given quota. Data collection methods for qualitative vary, but are usually unstructured or semi-structured techniques such as one on one interviews or group discussions. The data found from qualitative data is exploratory in nature. Findings are not useful for making generalizations about the group used for the survey. Next up is quantitative research.
Quantitative research is the inverse of qualitative. It is more quantity over quality. The main idea behind quantitative research is to gather a large amount of data and generalize the results from the sample to the population that is the subject of the research. In other terms it’s used to gauge a response by gathering a large number of answers. The sample size for quantitative is usually very large. The sample size is also randomly selected. Collecting data consists of surveys, structured questionnaires, and interviews on street or via telephone. The data collected from this method consists of mostly statistical information. Findings are usually conclusive and descriptive in their nature.
Qualitative research can tell us more about how or why a group of subjects have come to a decision. Quantitative just tells us how many are for or against a certain topic, subject, etc. Its Qualitative is also a lot more personnel with the data gathering. It allows you to find out why you have a problem.
A good example of a qualitative research method would be unstructured and group interviews which generate qualitative data through the use of open questions (McLeod, 2008). This gives the interviewer the chance to get to know the respondent better and allow the respondent in this example to give their full understanding and opinion on a topic. The one drawback of this approach is the time it takes.
McLeod, S. (2008). Qualitative Quantitative. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/qualitative-quantitative.html