Compare and Contrast Qualitative and Quantitaitve Research Methods

1417 Words Dec 28th, 2010 6 Pages
Compare and contrast Qualitative and Quantitative research methods
Monique Gowans
Charles Stuart University

Compare and Contrast Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods Qualitative research methods are complex meaningful analysis characterised by processes and meanings that are not experimentally examined or measured in terms of mathematical measurements (Lincoln, 2003; Sarantakos, 2005). Quantitative research however, relies and builds on mathematical procedures and methods, such as frequency, quality, amount and statistical procedure. This paper will compare and contrast both qualitative and quantitative research methods endeavouring to highlight differences and similarities between the two methods. Qualitative
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Coding, a process involved in the process of quantitative data analysis is the procedure of converting verbal responses into numerical codes. For example, ‘male’ can be given the code 1, and ‘female’ can be given the code 2. The process of coding is advantageous as it converts qualitative styles of data into numerals that become suitable for quantitative analysis. This process, however does not allow for much detail in the data as the open-end questions only have so many answers and therefore may not be suitable or appropriate to each individual. This form may also account for inaccurate responses and assume that social life can be measured by numbers. This process does not consider; which may be a disadvantage for the research in that such detail may interfere with the process of developing generalisations in the data. Unlike quantitative research where the analysis of data is conducted after all data is gathered, in qualitative research the timing of analysis varies (as discussed above). This process is advantageous in that it takes the form of a spiral that goes from data analysis and reduction, to data organization and interpretation. This process allows the researcher to link generalisations together, test, re-test and compare before leading to an eventual theory (Lincoln, 2003). This also allows for more data collection if more data analysis is needed. Qualitative research can eliminate one explanation by showing that a wide

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