Qualitative and quantitative methodological similarities and variations
The primary approaches used by researchers in the world today are qualitative and quantitative methods. The approaches have variations and similarities. Study is a method for gathering some information or data to answer a particular query.
Statistics are the basis for quantitative methods. They use statistics and percentages, while qualitative uses an individual’s profound knowledge and skills.
Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches may be used for data collection, experimentation, observation or experimentation. The information that is collected from the research is used to complete a specific question (Trochim, 2001)
Generally, scientific paradigm is used to support the quantitative method, this makes conclude that the universe is made of the quantifiable and observable facts, whereas interpretive paradigm is used to support the qualitative method where there is the perception of construction of the reality socially. The traditions that come up with the two paradigms are completely different and very unique.
In quantitative research, the researchers are usually concerned with the identification, discovering and also verifying the data that is collected randomly and they employ other methods like sampling to reduce the intervening variables that could have an impact on the final results, whereas qualitative research is concerned with the information that arises from the data collected (Firestone, 1998).
Researchers of both qualitative and quantitative research apply same components in their research. First, they come up with the research purpose or question that they need to answer, find the population under research, obtain and analyze the information that is collected and come up with the results. Subsequently, they usually depend on the theoretical framework and mostly concerned with rigor. The combination of the components by the researchers is what makes the difference in both methods and the final product (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992)
In the interpretation of the results, the qualitative method makes tentative conclusions which are reviewed as the days move on. The speculation of the interpretation is generalized or nonexistence generalizations are made by the reader or the consumer of the data while in quantitative the interpretations are made at the end of the research study and this conclusions and generalizations are usually given with an already determined degree of certainty. It is the responsibility of the researcher to give the generalizations from the study.
Pros and cons of quantitative research method
The misinterpretation of the findings is very minimal since the research is numerical. This makes it for the researchers to investigate the same situation and comparison of the results.
In quantitative research, statistics are allowed and this makes it easier for analysis process since one can easily understand it. The whole population can be generalized using statistics
The information collection and analysis in quantitative analysis can be fast this is enabled with the use of statistics random models which allows the research to be generalized to the whole population under study.
The population that should be studied is very large. The number of the correspondents should be great to enable this method conveniently. More accurate information is obtained with the increase in the population
A great amount of money may be required to make the whole process a success in the employment of this method. If the researchers are not prepared financially they may not use this method in their research because the number of correspondents required is large, more cash is needed in things like the transportation and questionnaire printing fees.
Pros and cons of qualitative method of research
In conducting the research the researchers are not limited to the particular questions, instead, they can be guided in real time by the researchers.
The research framework and methodology can be changed immediately when the new data and findings emerge
The human experience is a major concern and this makes the qualitative research more powerful when compared to quantitative research.
In qualitative research, the research has a clear vision on what to expect.
The research can easily be biased since it largely relies on the skills of the researcher
The method is rigid because the assessment is not easy. Demonstrations and maintenance is also a challenge.
The methods consume a lot of time in the interpretation of the data because of its huge quantity.
The response from the respondents may be affected since the method requires that the researcher should be present in the data gathering process.
When qualitative and quantitative methods are appropriate
The qualitative method can be used when there is idea generation concerning the new product and its development. It can be used in the capturing of the perceptions of marketing. It is used to develop hypotheses for further testing.
The quantitative method can be used when the variables under study are clearly defined and there is the presence of numerical data.
Mixed methods can be employed specifically when the literature is scant and the approach forgo some specific hypotheses.
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