Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

Qualitative data versus quantitative data Qualitative and quantitative methods need each other more often than not. However, the nature of data collected and analyzed differentiates the two.

Basically, qualitative data involves use of words whereas qualitative data uses numbers. Qualitative data is inductive in nature contrary to deductive nature of quantitative data. Unlike quantitative data which can be measured, qualitative data cannot be measured since they deal with descriptions (Have, 2004). Importance of Validity, Reliability, Verifiability, Replication, Correlation (positive and negative), Variables; Dependent variable, Independent Variable; Control Group; Causal Relationships Validity invoves the entire research experiment. It indicates whether the outcome of a specific experiment conforms to the requirements of the research method adopted. Reliability determines whether the tools for measuring are consistent or not.

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Researchers should be able to replicate their findings. Replication is a tool used by researchers to show the research results were a fluke. Primarily, replication as a tool of research helps make experimental science a self-correcting system. Correlation helps ascertain the relationship between two research variables. Variables in research fall into two broad classes i.

e. dependent and independent variable. Dependent variable is always presumed to depend on the independent variable. Independent variable is always used as a control when undertaking experiments. On the other hand, dependent variable is what is always changed by the researcher to ascertain what the results would be. Control group is an integral component of a research design because they allow researchers to eradicate any confounding variables thus avoiding biased outcomes.

In a scientific experiment, control group gives a researcher a reliable baseline data that can be used to compare the experiment results with. Causal relationship is another importance tool of research. In most cases, causal relationships are investigated through experimental research, and they help ascertain if changes in a specific variable truly affect another variable (Cox and Wermuth, 1996). Importance of research to mankind Research is crucial to mankind especially when conducted correctly. It helps human being understand and solve problems that arise. Research is useful because it helps people solve social issues or attain medical breakthroughs.

At the national level, governments carry out research in order to define appropriate decisions and policies (Wells, 2002).