Friday, January 17, 2020

Qualitative Versus Quantitative

Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research There has been a large amount of complex discussion and argument surrounding the topic of research methodology and the theory of how studies should push forward. Majority of this debate has centered on the issue of qualitative versus quantitative study. Different methods become popular at different social, political, historical and cultural times in our development, and, both methods have their strengths and weaknesses. The researcher and/or the culture of the organization is a key factor in preferred choice of methods.Data can be quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data answer questions like â€Å"how many? † or â€Å"how frequently†, and are measured/reported on a numerical scale, permitting categorization of pooled data, numerical reporting, statistical analysis and mathematical modeling. Qualitative data are non-numerical. Qualitative research seeks to analyze verbal discourse through interviews, written documents, or p articipatory field observations. This paper will break down both qualitative and quantitative methods individually to explain each one in depth.Also a chart will be included to understand and see the features of each side by side. In conclusion of the paper will be an example of both methods being used to understand how women felt about shopping at QuickStop stores and why. As researchers Ulin, Robinson, and Tolley (2006) have explained, three most common qualitative methods are â€Å"participant observation, in-depth interviews, and focus groups† (p. 2. * Participant observation is appropriate for collecting data on naturally occurring behaviors in their usual contexts. In –depth interviews are optimal for collecting data on individuals’ personal histories, perspectives, and experiences, particularly when sensitive topics are being explored. * Focus groups are effective in eliciting data on the cultural norms of a group and in generating broad overviews of issu es of concern to the cultural groups or subgroups represented. Qualitative methods are typically more flexible and allow more interaction between the researcher and the study participant.For example, qualitative methods, ask mostly â€Å"open-ended† questions that are not necessarily worded in exactly the same way with each participant. In regards to open-ended questions, participants are free to respond in their own words rather than simply â€Å"yes† or â€Å"no. † Also in qualitative methods, the relationship between the researcher and the participant is often less formal than in quantitative research. Participants have the opportunity to respond more elaborately and in greater detail than is typically the case with quantitative methods.Open-ended questions have the ability to provide responses that are: * Meaningful and culturally salient to the participant * Unanticipated by the researcher * Rich and explanatory in nature The three most common sampling meth ods in qualitative research: purposive sampling, quota sampling, and snowball sampling. Purposive sampling, one of the most common sampling strategies, groups participants according to preselected criteria relevant to a particular research question. In quota sampling, while designing the study how many people with characteristics to include as participants.The criteria used is to focus on people that we think would be most likely to experience, know about, or have insights into the research topic. A third type of sampling, snowballing also known as chain referral sampling. In this method, participants with whom contact has already been made use their social networks to refer the researcher to other people who could potentially participate in or contribute to the study. According to Carroll (2010), â€Å"qualitative studies frequently use primary data (e. g. interviews), others involve analysis of media reports and other secondary data sources. For example, community attitudes about road safety might be explored through interviews (primary data) or by analyzing newspaper articles on rights of bicyclists (secondary data). † (pg. 3480). Quantitative research can be defined as a means for testing objective theories by examing the relationship among variables. The variables will then be measured, typically on instruments, so that numbered data can be analyzed using statistical procedures.According to Creswell (2008), â€Å"the final written report has a set structure consisting of introduction, literature and theory, methods, results, and discussion† (p. 4). You measure variables on a sample of subjects, which can be tissues, cells, animals, or humans. You then express the relationship between variable using effect statistics, such as correlations, relative frequencies, or differences between means. Features of Qualitative & Quantitative Research Qualitative| Quantitative| The aim is complete, detailed description. The aim is to classify features, cou nt them, and construct statistical models in an attempt to explain what is observed. | Researcher may only know roughly in advance what he/she is looking for. | Researcher knows clearly in advance what he/she is looking for. | Recommended during earlier phases of research projects. | Recommended during latter phases of research projects. | The design emerges as the study unfolds. | All aspects of the study are carefully designed before data is collected. | Researcher is the data gathering instrument. Researcher uses tools, such as questionnaires or equipment to collect numerical data. | Data is in the form of words, pictures or objects. | Data is in the form of numbers and statistics. | Subjective-individuals interpretation of events is important, e. g. , uses participant observation, in-depth interviews etc. | Objective seeks precise measurement & analysis of target concepts, e. g. , uses surveys, questionnaires etc. | Qualitative data is more ‘rich’, time consuming, a nd less able to be generalized. | Quantitative data is more efficient, able to test hypotheses, but may miss contextual detail. Researcher tends to become subjectively immersed in the subject matter. | Researcher tends to remain objectively separated from the subject matter. | (the two quotes are from Miles & Huberman (1994, p. 40). Qualitative Data Analysis) An example with qualitative and quantitative research project was designed to understand how women felt about shopping at QuickStop stores and why. This research project was completed by Chris Hawkes, a Senior Market Researcher at MarketResearch101. At some point a staff member realized that QuickStop seemed to be patronized by many more men than women.About two dozen current or potential female customers were paid to come into a research facility to discuss the use of convenience stores in general, and later in the interviews the discussion was directed specifically to QuickStop convenience stores, in particular. Studies showe d that women viewed the convenience stores to be primarily for men, with little or no consideration for women. The bathrooms were believed to be the dirtiest that could be found in the city. It was also viewed as the kind of place for a man to buy gas, and to buy a six-pack of cheap beer and cigarettes.Once the management team had an understanding of what issues they faced they needed to use quantitative research to get numbers. For the quantitative research they conducted 250 telephone interviews with a combination of female respondents. Over 76% of all female QuickStop customers were women under 30 years old, without children. The good news is 64% who did not use QuickStop said that if these stores were to update their color schemes, clean up their bathrooms and update their health and feminine products they would be willing to try QuickStop again.In general when conducting two phases of research it’s most often the case that the qualitative research phases is conducted fir st as a â€Å"lead-in†. Qualitative research tends to help the management team understand the underlying issues, and then the second phase (quantitative in this case) helps to understand how pervasive these feelings/attitudes are among a certain target audience. References Carroll, Linda (2010). Levels of Reconstruction as complementarity in Mixed Methods Research: A Social Theory-Based Conceptual Framework for Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Research.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (p. 3480). Creswell, John (2008). Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Research Design, Third Edition. (p. 4). Hawkes, Chris (2011). Retrieved from http://www. streetdirectory. com/travel_guide. Miles & Huberman (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis. Retrieved from: http://www. gifted. uconn. edu/siegle/research/Qualitative/qualquan. htm Priscilla, Ulin. , Elizabeth, Robinson. , & Elizabeth, Tolley (2006). Qualitative Research methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide. Qualitative Methods in Public Heatlh.

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