Educational Research

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research

What is Research?

Research is the systematic, rigorous investigation of a situation or problem in order to generate new knowledge or validate existing knowledge.

On a broader perspective, all researches can be classified into two groups:

  • Qualitative Research
  • Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is research dealing with phenomena that are difficult or impossible to quantify mathematically, such as beliefs meanings, attributes, and symbols Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. The qualitative method investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, when.

Advantages

  • It enables more complex aspects of a person’s experience to be studied.
  • Fewer restriction or assumptions are placed on the data to be collected.
  • Not everything can be quantified, or quantified easily, Individuals can be studied in more depth.
  • Good for exploratory research and hypothesis generation.
  • The participants are able to provide data in their own words. and in their own way.

Disadvantages

  • It is more difficult to determine the validity and reliability of linguistic data.
  • There is more subjectivity involved in analyzing the data.
  • “Data overload” – open-ended questions can sometimes create lots of data, which can take a long time to analyze.
  • Time consuming.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research refers to the systematic empirical investigation of any phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to phenomena. Quantitative research is generally made using scientific methods, which can include:

  1. The generation of models, theories and hypotheses.
  2. The development of instruments and methods for measurement.
  3. Experimental control and manipulation of variables.
  4. Collection of empirical data.
  5. Modeling and analysis of data.
  6. Evaluation of results.

Advantages

  • Quantitative research allows the researcher to measure and analyze data.
  • The researcher is more objective about the findings of the research.
  • Quantitative research can be used to test hypotheses in experiments because of its ability to measure data using statistics.

Disadvantages

  • The main disadvantage of quantitative research is the context of the study or experiment is ignored.
  • Quantitative research does not study things in a natural setting or discuss the meaning things have for different people.
  • A large sample of the population must be studied for more accurate results.
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