Quantitative And Qualitative Research Techniques And Procedures Psychology Essay

The term research is usually used interchangeably with investigate, study, explore examine and "make inquiries of" a specific topic. Generally terms, research can be explained as the gathering of data, advice for the growth of knowledge. The Princeton University wordnetweb released some interesting explanations of research including:

Attempt to determine in a systematically and methodical manner;

Systematic investigation to determine facts

inquire into or a search for knowledge;

In the medical and academic conditions however, the normal use of the team tends to refer to the definition of research in a clinical context where it is employed to mean undertaking a methodical study in order to show a hypothesis or answer a particular question. This clinical understanding and request of research assumes a research process which involves manipulation of the parameters in general with exceptional of process that use case studies and natural observational science that this generalization does not always carry true.

Research methods are "approach(s) for gathering data" (Harding, 1986) and tend to be dichotomized into being either quantitative or qualitative. It's been argued that technique has been gendered (Oakley, 1998), with quantitative methods usually being associated with words such as positivism, medical, objectivity, information and masculinity. In contrast, qualitative methods have generally been associated with interpretive, non-scientific, subjectivity and femininity.

C. R. Kothari categories research methods into three main types depending on purpose, area of focus and research strategy:

i. Depending on its goal, research is reported to be exploratory research which is also split into two subtypes of descriptive and analytical research. This type of research is purposed to and structured to identify new problems or associations between phenomena. Thus, it is aimed at describing the state of affairs as it prevails which is usually done through review to get new facts which are examined to find new contacts:

ii. Based on the emphasis and the result of the research process, we do find the Constructive research also known as applied research. This sort of research is used to develop solutions to practical problem at hand. Within this same category, there may be Empirical research by which researchers tests the feasibility of a remedy using noticed data:

iii. Predicated on the methodology, research may also be classified as qualitative or quantitative. This categorization is dependant on the study methods used. The choice between the two is dependant on the properties of the topic matter and or the objective of the research. (C. R. Kothari 2004). Those two will be the mostly used categorisations and form the main universities of thought in research. Although they are generally used alongside one another in complicated research operations, the merits of one of in the other hotly debated especially in neuro-scientific social technology research.

Due to the scope and space restriction, I really do not intend to cover the complete field of technological research. The reminder of this paper will therefore focus on the study of these two methods in iii above Looking their key characteristics, night out collection and analysis methods, and identifying the respective benefits and drawbacks, validity level and the speaking about the contemporary effectiveness on the two methods in the research process.

Quantitative Research Techniques and Procedures

Qualitative examination is an activity that is often the precursor to quantitative, statistical work; an activity to help make the tacit underpinnings of an issue explicit; a process you may use to deepen your knowledge of complex sociable and human factors that can't be understood with figures; an activity that helps you figure out what things to count and what to assess (Kerlin, 1999, p. 1).

Some of the normal methods of undertaking quantitative research are surveys and observations. Surveys are commonly completed either the respondent or the researcher completing questionnaires. While observational research involves the research seeing or observing various habits and patterns. Mary other different types of quantitative research methods are being used besides the studies and observations. "More difficult forms of quantitative research are experimental research or numerical modelling research" (Peter J. P. & Donnelly J. H, 2000).

In the social sciences, quantitative research identifies the systematic empirical research of quantitative properties and phenomena and their associations. The process calls for the development and use of different mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses regarding phenomena to measure empirical observation and mathematical expression that facts the quantitative interactions.

Although this research strategy is commonly found in the interpersonal sciences such as psychology, sociology and anthropology, quantitative research numerical sciences such as physics is also 'quantitative' by classification, though this use of the word differs in framework. In the communal sciences, the term pertains to empirical methods, originating in both philosophical positivism and the annals of statistics, which comparison qualitative research methods. (http://en. wikipedia. org)

One of the main element feature of quantitative research is that it Involves examination of data like numerical day, term, pictures and items. (Kilometers & Huberman (1994)

Qualitative Research Techniques and Procedures

Qualitative research is a generic term for investigative methodologies described as ethnographic, naturalistic, anthropological, field, or participant observer research. It stresses the importance of looking at parameters in the natural environment in which they are located. Interaction between factors is important. Complete data is gathered through open concluded questions offering direct quotations. The interviewer can be an integral area of the investigation (Jacob, 1988). This differs from quantitative research which endeavors to gather data by objective solutions to provide information about relationships, comparisons, and predictions and attempts to eliminate the investigator from the exploration (Smith, 1983).

According to Andrew (2007), qualitative research is a method of inquiry appropriated in numerous academic disciplines, typically in the interpersonal sciences, but also in general market trends and additional contexts. Qualitative researchers aim to accumulate an in-depth understanding of human habit and the reasons that govern such patterns. The qualitative method investigates the why and how of decision making, not merely what, where, when. Hence, smaller but focused samples are more regularly needed, somewhat than large samples.

According to Andrew (2007), qualitative research is used to denote approaches which are reinforced by a couple of hypotheses regarding the way the cultural world functions. It deduces many of its basics from the point of view that we now have fundamental differences between your science of human world and technology of natural world and consequently needs to use distinctive methods. Here, attention is targeted upon taking a look at the earth through the eyes of studied items and upon evolving concepts and theories which can be grounded in the collecting data. So, qualitative research connected with own accounts of the individuals of their behaviour and behavior. The importance of qualitative research comprises in setting stress on talking about, understanding complicated phenomena. It investigates, for example, the romantic relationships and habits among factors or the context where the activity happens. It is concentrated on understanding the full many-dimensional picture of the subject of investigation.

Qualitative methods produce information only on the particular cases researched, and any longer general conclusions are just hypotheses (educational guesses). Qualitative research is aimed at deepening our understanding about happening, and can usually involve going beyond surface analysis of amounts and the reports to the deeper so this means behind report being informed by the figures. It is designed to provides reasons and establishes causal connections.

It is often contrasted to quantitative research which focuses on the quantitative components of phenomena. Used however, the two methods are often used together to get to the 'bigger picture'.

Face-to-Face Interviews and Concentration Groups

The most typical varieties of qualitative research are face-to-face interviews and concentration organizations. Face-to-face interviews are just that: Reaching someone personally and discussing various issues. The informant - or person you are interviewing - may be a specialist in a particular field (e. g. the editor of the paper) or they might be a person who is damaged by the problems you are researching (e. g. somebody who is HIV positive or who reads the advertising).

Focus groups require discussions with two or more members. While questions for focus groups need to be prepared to guide and focus the discussions, the responses are often free-ranging, as the members are encouraged to explore the issues at hand in an in-depth way.

While focus categories and interviews will help you develop explanations for quantitative data, sometimes they can offer you with quantitative data themselves

Basic Dissimilarities between Quantitative and Qualitative Research Techniques

Quantitative and qualitative research methods differ primarily in:

their analytical objectives

the types of questions they pose

the types of data collection tools they use

the types of data they produce

the degree of flexibility included in study design

The key difference between quantitative and qualitative methods is their flexibility. Generally, quantitative methods are quite inflexible. With quantitative methods such as research and questionnaires, for example, experts ask all individuals indistinguishable questions in the same order. The response categories that participants may choose are "closed-ended" or fixed. The advantage of this inflexibility is that it allows for meaningful comparison of responses across participants and examine sites. However, it needs a thorough understanding of the key questions to ask, the ultimate way to ask them, and the range of possible reactions.

Qualitative methods are typically more adaptable - that is, they allow better spontaneity and adaptation of the interaction between the researcher and the study participant. For instance, qualitative methods ask mainly "open-ended" questions that aren't always worded in a similar way with each participant. With open-ended questions, members are absolve to reply in their own words, and these responses tend to be more complex than simply "yes" or "no. "

In addition, with qualitative methods, the relationship between your researcher and the participant is often less formal than in quantitative research. Individuals have the opportunity to reply more elaborately and in more detail than is typically the situation with quantitative methods. In turn, researchers have the opportunity to act in response immediately to what individuals say by tailoring following questions to information the participant has provided. Merriam (1988) provided a basis for differentiating qualitative and quantitative research techniques predicated on their characteristics.

Characteristics of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Point of Comparisons

Qualitative Research

Quantitative Research

Focus of research

Quality (mother nature, essence)

Quantity (how much, just how many)

Philosophical roots

Phenomenology, symbolic interaction

Positivism, logical empiricism

Associated phrases

Fieldwork, ethnographic, naturalistic, grounded, subjective

Experimental, empirical, statistical

Goal of investigation

Understanding, description, finding, hypothesis generating

Prediction, control, information, confirmation, hypothesis testing

Design characteristics

Flexible, growing, emergent

Predetermined, structured


Natural, familiar

Unfamiliar, artificial


Small, non-random, theoretical

Large, random, representative

Data collection

Researcher as major instrument, interviews, observations

Inanimate tools (scales, tests, studies, questionnaires, personal computers)

Mode of analysis

Inductive (by researcher)

Deductive (by statistical methods)


Comprehensive, all natural, expansive

Precise, narrow, reductionist

However, there's a range of flexibility among methods used in both quantitative and qualitative research which flexibility is not an sign of how medically rigorous a method is. Rather, the amount of flexibility displays the kind of understanding of the situation that has been pursued using the technique.

Merits of Quantitative Analysis

The use of surveys allow a researcher to study more variables at one time than is typically possible in laboratory or field tests, whilst data can be collected about real life environments.

The usefulness of any survey is the fact that the info you get is standardized because each respondent - the person who fills out the questionnaire - is responding to the exact same questions. Once you've enough replies to your questionnaire, after that you can put the info together and review it in a way that answers your research question - or what it is you wish to know.

Since circumstance studies follow a organised format, different situations can be compared or analyzed relatively. Case studies are usually short (often only 5 internet pages long) and usually only support the essential information had a need to present a situation and, if necessary, to spell it out and properly examine an issue.

Quantitative data can determine when students have achieved or failed a task, and they can offer national ranking, percentiles, and allow researchers to conduct evaluation analyses. Nevertheless, they cannot provide the "total" picture of why a particular learner has either been successful or failed (Burnaford et al. , 2001; Gall et al. , 1996 and Mc Bride-to-be & Schostak, 2000).

In quantitative research, the researcher neither participates in nor influences what is

being studied; thus, he/she examines the circumstances objectively. In some qualitative research, the researcher may play a more subjective role and participate when you are immersed in his/her research. That's, the observer might be the professor or the facilitator. This role is often the case with when action research, circumstance studies, and focus groups are being used in educational research.

Advantages of surveys

Good for comparative analysis.

Can get lots of data in a comparatively short space of time.

Can be cost-effective (if you are using the web, for example).

Can take less time for respondents to complete (in comparison to an interview or emphasis group)

Specific concrete example;

Can improve problem dealing with;

Are often interesting to read.

Demerits of Quantitative Analysis

A key weakness of quantitative research is that it's very hard to understand insights relating to the causes of or processes involved in the phenomena measured. A couple of, in addition, several resources of bias including the possibly self-selecting dynamics of respondents, the point in time when the review is conducted and in the researcher him/herself through the design of the survey itself.

It could be argued that the quantitative researcher is more correct, but the

response would be that with people it is not possible to be so specific,

people change and the communal situation is too sophisticated for numerical

description. Quantitative research tends to clarify where

clarification is not appropriate. (Mc Bride-to-be& Schostak, 2000, pp. 1-2)

Disadvantages of Surveys

Responses might not exactly be specific.

Questions may be misinterpreted.

May not get as many responses as you will need.

Don't get full storyline.

Can remember to develop;

Depending on format, might need some degree of good writing skills;

Do not usually give wide-ranging overview of issue at hand.

Merits of Qualitative Techniques

The solutions of the qualitative research differ from the techniques of the quantitative research. Quantitative methods have their goal in dividing into obviously defined parts, or factors. When we research a concern which we realize how to quantify, for example, what can be quantified for certain, we may omit the factors which are necessary to the true knowledge of the phenomena under analysis (Andrew, 2007).

Qualitative methods are helpful not only in providing rich explanations of complicated phenomena, however in creating or developing theories or conceptual bases, and in proposing hypotheses to clarify the phenomena. Besides, value of the qualitative research is composed in validity of the info received; people are minutely interviewed in order the obtained data would be studied as right and believable accounts of their ideas and experiences. Its major disadvantage is the fact that small group of interviewed individuals can't be used as representative (Andrew, 2007).

Case studies involve an attempt to describe relationships that exist in reality, very often in one organization. Case studies may be positivist or interpretivist in dynamics, depending on the methodology of the researcher, the info collected and the analytical techniques utilized. Actuality can be captured in greater detail by an observer-researcher, with the evaluation of more factors than is normally possible in experimental and survey research.

Another kind of qualitative examination is site visits. Site trips help you understand your research better; site trips (e. g. when you visit a business, a manufacturing facility, a medical clinic or a cover project) are extremely useful and sometimes even necessary ways of gaining additional information and making your theoretical information concrete in your thoughts. They enable you to observe what is going on, and ask questions you may well not have thought about.

Qualitative research has a phenomenological target that can offer an enriched and

detailed information of the members' actions and/or viewpoints (Veronesi, 1997).

Advantages of Face-to-Face Interviews

Can enable in-depth knowledge writing;

Helps to build up the larger picture;

Helps with examination of results;

Good for networking (e. g. you could be referred to other folks to interview).

Advantages of Focus Groups

Good for community participation (grassroots source);

Helpful in expanding ideas and writing latent, or concealed, knowledge spontaneously;

Enables someone to get information from lots of individuals all together.

Advantages of Site Trips and Observation

Demerits of Qualitative Analysis

Case studies can be viewed as weak as they are typically limited to a single organization and it is difficult to generalize results since it is hard to find similar situations with similar data that can be analyzed in a statistically significant way.

Disadvantages of Face-to-Face Interviews

Can be time consuming;

May be difficult to arrange an interview time;

Can be difficult to compare and review information.

Disadvantages of Focus Groups

Can be difficult to set up;

Participants may need to be paid;

Need to be delicate to who the facilitator is;

May desire a translator;

Sometimes difficult to organize and examine information.

Disadvantages of Site Goes to and Observation

Take time;

Can be costly (depending how far you need to visit);

With observation in particular, you should be careful the way you interpret what the simple truth is. With site trips, you may want to be sure to have a guide so as to ask questions

However, the disadvantage of the quantitative as well as qualitative research is that they don't always underpin understanding of multi-dimensional pictures (Andrew, 2007).

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