Assume that we have ten respondents. We could easily set up a simple coding table like the one in the figure below to represent the coding of the ten responses into the five themes.
This is a simple qualitative thematic coding analysis. But, we can represent exactly the same information quantitatively as in the following table:. Notice that this is the exact same data. The first would probably be called a qualitative coding while the second is clearly quantitative. The quantitative coding gives us additional useful information and makes it possible to do analyses that we couldn't do with the qualitative coding. For instance, from just the table above we can say that Theme 4 was the most frequently mentioned and that all respondents touched on two or three of the themes.
But we can do even more. For instance, we could look at the similarities among the themes based on which respondents addressed them. Well, why don't we do a simple correlation matrix for the table above. The analysis shows that Themes 2 and 3 are strongly negatively correlated -- People who said Theme 2 seldom said Theme 3 and vice versa check it for yourself. We can also look at the similarity among respondents as shown below:. We could do much more. If we had more respondents and we often would with a survey , we could do some simple multivariate analyses.
For instance, we could draw a similarity "map" of the respondents based on their intercorrelations. The map would have one dot per respondent and respondents with more similar responses would cluster closer together. The point is that the line between qualitative and quantitative is less distinct than we sometimes imagine. All qualitative data can be quantitatively coded in an almost infinite varieties of ways.
This doesn't detract from the qualitative information. We can still do any kinds of judgmental syntheses or analyses we want. But recognizing the similarities between qualitative and quantitative information opens up new possibilities for interpretation that might otherwise go unutilized.
Numbers in and of themselves can't be interpreted without understanding the assumptions which underlie them. Take, for example, a simple 1-to-5 rating variable:. What does this mean? How do we interpret the value "2" here?
We can't really understand this quantitative value unless we dig into some of the judgments and assumptions that underlie it:. We could go on and on, but my point should be clear. All numerical information involves numerous judgments about what the number means. The bottom line here is that quantitative and qualitative data are, at some level, virtually inseparable.
Neither exists in a vacuum or can be considered totally devoid of the other. To ask which is "better" or more "valid" or has greater "verisimilitude" or whatever ignores the intimate connection between them. To do good research we need to use both the qualitative and the quantitative. To say that qualitative and quantitative data are similar only tells half the story. After all, the intense academic wrangling of the qualitative-quantitative debate must have some basis in reality.
My sense is that there are some fundamental differences, but that they lie primarily at the level of assumptions about research epistemological and ontological assumptions rather than at the level of the data. First, let's do away with the most common myths about the differences between qualitative and quantitative research.
Many people believe the following: I think that while there's a shred of truth in each of these statements, they are not exactly correct. In general, a lot of quantitative research tends to be confirmatory and deductive. But there's lots of quantitative research that can be classified as exploratory as well.
And while much qualitative research does tend to be exploratory, it can also be used to confirm very specific deductive hypotheses. The problem I have with these kinds of statements is that they don't acknowledge the richness of both traditions. They don't recognize that both qualitative and quantitative research can be used to address almost any kind of research question.
So, if the difference between qualitative and quantitative is not along the exploratory-confirmatory or inductive-deductive dimensions, then where is it? My belief is that the heart of the quantitative-qualitative debate is philosophical, not methodological. Many qualitative researchers operate under different epistemological assumptions from quantitative researchers. For instance, many qualitative researchers believe that the best way to understand any phenomenon is to view it in its context.
They see all quantification as limited in nature, looking only at one small portion of a reality that cannot be split or unitized without losing the importance of the whole phenomenon.
For some qualitative researchers, the best way to understand what's going on is to become immersed in it. Although, it generates ideas or hypothesis for later quantitative research. Qualitative research is used to gain an in-depth understanding of human behaviour, experience, attitudes, intentions, and motivations, on the basis of observation and interpretation, to find out the way people think and feel. Quantitative research is a form of research that relies on the methods of natural sciences, which produces numerical data and hard facts.
The research is also known as empirical research as it can be accurately and precisely measured. The data collected by the researcher can be divided into categories or put into rank, or it can be measured in terms of units of measurement.
The differences between qualitative and quantitative research are provided can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:. An ideal research is one, which is conducted by considering both the methods, together. Although, there are some particular areas which require, only one type of research which mainly depends on the information required by the researcher.
Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Key Differences Between Qualitative And Quantitative Research The differences between qualitative and quantitative research are provided can be drawn clearly on the following grounds: Qualitative research is a method of inquiry that develops understanding on human and social sciences, to find the way people think and feel.
A scientific and empirical research method that is used to generate numerical data, by employing statistical, logical and mathematical technique is called quantitative research. Qualitative research is holistic in nature while quantitative research is particularistic.
The qualitative research follows a subjective approach as the researcher is intimately involved, whereas the approach of quantitative research is objective, as the researcher is uninvolved and attempts to precise the observations and analysis on the topic to answer the inquiry.
Qualitative research is exploratory. As opposed to quantitative research which is conclusive. On the other hand, quantitative research relies on random sampling; wherein a large representative sample is chosen in order to extrapolate the results to the whole population.
Verbal data are collected in qualitative research. Conversely, in quantitative research measurable data is gathered. Inquiry in qualitative research is a process-oriented, which is not in the case of quantitative research.
Differences. Only measurable data are being gathered and analyzed in quantitative research.. Qualitative research focuses on gathering of mainly verbal data rather than measurements. Gathered information is then analyzed in an interpretative manner, subjective, impressionistic or even diagnostic.
Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements and the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational coachoutleta.cftative research focuses on gathering numerical data and generalizing it across groups of people or to explain a particular phenomenon.
Quantitative Research. Quantitative research is the numbers side of market research. It's about measurement and attaching numbers to a market - for instance market size, market share, penetration, installed base and market growth rates. 10/12/12 QUALITATIVE VERSUS QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH. Criteria Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Purpose To understand & interpret social interactions. To test hypotheses, look at cause & effect.
In quantitative research your aim is to determine the relationship between one thing (an independent variable) and another (a dependent or outcome variable) in a population. Quantitative and qualitative research are complementary methods that you can combine in your surveys to get results that are both wide-reaching and deep.