Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

Qualitative research examines behavior, attitudes and life experiences. It uses such methods such as focus groups, or interviews. It takes longer and gets a better insight into the people that are targeted by the researcher.

Quantitative research is the generation of statistics by the use of large scale survey research. The methods that are used in quantitative research are structured interviews and questionnaires. Quantitative research has more people in its reach, but the contact with these people is much briefer than in qualitative research. One advantage of quantitative research is that the researcher knows exactly what he is looking for before the research commences. On the other hand, the qualitative researcher only has a rough awareness of what he is looking for. Quantitative research is objective because precise measurements are sought and there is a cogent analysis.

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On the other hand, qualitative research is subjective. This is because the study relies on the interpretation of an individual of the situation under study. Another advantage for quantitative research is that the researcher is separated from the subject matter. This is not true for qualitative research because the researcher is subjectively involved in the subject matter. One of the strengths of qualitative research is that it is richer than quantitative research, more efficient, and it is not able to be generalized.

On the other hand, although quantitative data is more efficient, it may miss out on contextual details. There are many other strengths and limitations of the two research methods, but they cannot be analyzed because of brevity of the paper. The two methods of research can be incorporated into the same study by using a focus group and structured interview at the same time. This will allow for generation of data and exploration of attitudes and experiences at the same time.