Qualitative and quantitative research are two of the main types of research that are used to research and gather relevant information regarding statistics and theoretical models.
Quantitative research design is focused more on quantity as the gathered information is presented in the form of numbers, statistics and hard cold facts.
This type of research is focused on monitoring and analyzing statistical values and mathematical type of data like the values in research surveys, questionnaires etc.
Just like qualitative research, quantitative research also has a number of types that you can use for different kinds of research. Key quantitative research types include:
Survey research focuses on utilizing interviews, questionnaires and question polls to get near accurate results related to behaviors and how the subjects work and behave under specific circumstances. The subject of surveys could be an individual, a focus group, an organization or company or several focus groups. For accurate and effective results, it is important to choose the people or focus subject randomly and with wider spectrum or response. There are a number of ways to conduct survey type of quantitative research including, one-on-one, over the telephone, via mail or chat that could be self-administered or commissioned by an organization.
Correlational research tests and analyses the relationship between two variables and how they affect each other. This type of quantitative research is conducted to understand an occurrence, its causes and any possibilities of it having relationship with another available factors and elements. The research could be conducted on multiple groups with two being the minimum while it is absolutely possible that even though two points meet, there could be a chance that they are not related to cause anything. The correlational research could be positive, negative or completely neutral. Positive correlation means that the two variables are directly related and any change in one variable will cause the same change in the other variable. Negative correlation means that two variables are adversely related and increase in one variable will decrease the other. Neutral correlation means that the two variables have no effect on each other and they are independent of each other.
Causal comparative research works on finding a relationship between a cause and effect. Instead of choosing and studying specific focus group or groups, as happens in other research methods, It merely focuses on studying the effect of same circumstances and events on the two groups and how they behave under their influence. This quantitative research studies through comparison and without the focus on the relationship of the two variables or groups involved in the observation. Statistical analysis or calculation is drawn to understand and present the findings in rational way.
Experimental research is the basis for many researches and is generally carried out with the help of an established hypotheses that could either be a single statement or multiple possibilities. A hypothesis is an unexamined or an unresearched expected result that could be proved or disproved, based on the findings. Probably the most laborious of the quantitative research, the researcher can manipulate one or multiple independent variables and study its effects and results on the dependent variables. The most common example of experimental research are the tests and experiments taking place in the laboratory.
Qualitative research, on the other hand, is more towards presenting the researched data in in-depth way by introducing reviews, interviews and opinions into the research report.
It is more focused on statistics and results obtained through numeric information, surveys and devices that are used in the research. Qualitative research relies on literature, theories and themes as the prepared report is more towards readable side than scannable data as in the case of mathematical information.
To define it, qualitative research is the research that involves presenting ideas and themes in an in-depth and detailed manner with substantial evidences from literature, reviews, in-depth interviews and other material. Students and researchers from literary background use this type of research to prove their theories and points.
Since you are deciding between qualitative and quantitative research and which type of research to go for, it is time to know about the different kinds of researches that are their part and could be added in the research model. Following are some of the qualitative research methods
Phenomenological method of research focuses on how a participant or individual feel during a certain event or activity. The method is quite effective and helps individuals in different scenarios to cope with their surrounding successfully. Businesses use this type of qualitative research method to design and streamline processes to help people in sales to communicate with the potential customers and close deals in ways that are according to their personalities. The method is quite helpful as it helps businesses and organizations save time by implementing befitting processes for their employees rather than expecting them to conform to the designed model.
Usually used by researchers, the method immerses the subject or the participant into the culture or surrounding that is unfamiliar to them. The goal is to discover and learn the features of the culture, how it affects the participant and driving force, motivation, that keeps it going. The respective qualitative research method is quite well known as there are a number of researchers that are left in a certain environment for an extended period of time to study how they cope with the unknown and how it influences the researcher. Another example of ethnographic model is testing the product personally or running beta test before final launch to learn if it lacks anything.
Grounded theory method is a systematic methodology that includes designing of theories through methodical gathering and analysis of data that is available in certain subject or topic. Grounded theory uses inductive mode of working and, usually, the research starts from a question and then the available and researched evidences and data is further analyzed. The researchers study and review the collected data and look for repeated elements and ideas based on what, new theories and concepts are formulates. The type of qualitative research is different from other modes of research in the way that it starts with the existing data and moves forward to frame new theoretical concept.
Where grounded research looks at the subjects at large and study them in consolidated form, case study research model focuses on one target or subject and study it as a whole. The subject could be an individual, an organization or a business, a city or a part of our community. Data related to the subject and topic is collected through various online and offline resources that include interviews, relevant literature review and theories and concepts that are used in conjunction to understand and analyze the data. The qualitative research type of case study model is used by businesses and social sciences researchers to draw relevant conclusions.
Historical model of research focuses on past events and incidents to understand the present circumstances and predicting future events. The model draws conclusions and answers through a hypothesis and then uses different data and resources to check for any changes in the outcomes and results. Historical model is mostly used by sociologists and social sciences researchers who study the prevailing events and draw conclusion on them through the knowledge and information gained from previous and historical events. Moreover, if you are a student of literature, you are likely to work through this qualitative research model as you will need literature review for research purposes.
Narrative model uses the storytelling approach as it includes the information that spans over a significant period of time and gathers the information in the same manner as it happened. It takes the participants to the very starting point and unfolds the events as they happened, presenting them as both challenges and opportunities. The research model could be evidently seen in scripts and videos produced by different businesses to highlight the problems their products or services solve. The respective model of qualitative research is quite engaging and could be applied to businesses and social researches alike.
Both qualitative and quantitative research is used in a number of experiments and before deciding on which type to employ for your experiment, it is important that you identify the requirements of your research and choose the method that works best for your type of research. If you want to get the research data in the form of numbers and nothing much of in-depth research then quantitative research would work best for you. In case what you need is something that includes previous theories and your focus is to show relevance between them then qualitative research is the type you should be working on.
Though both are the kinds of research models and techniques, qualitative and quantitative research differ from each other by a number of ways and elements. If you are wondering about the ways both the types are separate from each other, please move forward.
Qualitative vs. quantitative research has always been a hot topic as researchers and students are in search of the research method that benefits their work the best. Qualitative and quantitative research are also used in collaboration for projects that involve both the description and statistical parts.
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