Distinction Between Qualitative And Quantitative

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The distinction between qualitative and quantitative goes far beyond that of whether or not numbers are being implemented during the process of recording data; qualitative researchers can use numbers to label and categorize objects. The conventional view is that the qualitative researcher finds their observations to be more descriptive and contextually dependent, while the quantitative researcher is allowed to make predictions and deductive inferences while assuming that their findings can be generalized. Determining whether a certain researchable topic is qualitative or quantitative can give an investigator ideas about the types of information they will be collecting and the types of statistical procedures that they will need to employ.
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When determining the relationships between variables, quantitative researchers must control for as many extraneous or unaccounted variables as possible, and thus their research is most commonly conducted in a laboratory environment. Using a quantitative approach, Ferguson, Bender, & Thompson (2014) identified predictors of transience in young homeless individuals. Quantitative measures of arrest history, duration of homelessness, education background, and more were collected and analyzed. Quantitative researchers tend to take complex behaviors, or psychological states, and simplify them into behaviors that are easy to measure; this approach is called reductionism. While the experimental findings of this approach are usually replicable, they sometimes lack information integral to their practical application. Stress researchers may be throwing away relevant stress-related differences between participants if they chose to implement electrical resistance of the skin (e.g. electro-dermal response) as an operational definition for …show more content…
This type of research typically uses open-ended questions instead of instruments of measurement. It also relies more heavily on inductive reasoning, which is the act of inferring general conclusions from particular observations. Robertson, Lang, and Schaefer (2014) used a qualitative research design to study parental concern for helmet usage. They held discussions with parents, leading off these discussions with open-ended questions about the activities in which they require their children to wear helmets while participating in. According to Creswell (2014), when conducting a study with a qualitative methodology, researchers are able to focus more on the differences of each individual participant, as opposed to quantitative research which tends to look for similarities or differences between large groups of participants. Although the previous statement is generally valid, there are some counterexamples to its claim; behavioral analysts use quantitative methods and also study the individual. While the observations of qualitative research tend to be less universal, or replicable, in comparison to quantitative observations, social scientists may have other motivations for choosing to avoid the use of descriptive/inferential statistics. If a researcher’s goal was to study how a specific organization operates efficiently, it would be

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