Strengths And Weaknesses Of Qualitative And Quantitative Research

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When planning a research proposal, it is important for a researcher to choose an appropriate research method to investigate the questions they wish to answer. The method the researcher choses is dependent on the type of research they are undertaking and usually falls under either qualitative or quantitative research, although in complex cases, a more mixed method may be required (Liamputtong, 2010, p. 9). This essay will define qualitative and quantitative research; discuss the epistemologies and methodologies and strengths and weaknesses of these research approaches in addition to comparing how they are used within the psychological research field.

Qualitative research is primarily used when researching the social factors of life that cannot
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What further contributes to this paradigm being applicable is the fact that a constructivist usually formulates their hypothesis throughout the research progression rather than having a clear hypothesis in the beginning (Mackenzie & Knipe, 2006).

Qualitative research has many methodologies that can be used to answer the questions that are asked. Ethnographic research and grounded theories are thought as two effective methodologies because they allow for a more holistic and flexible approach which then allows for a more meaningful and valid understanding than a more inflexible approach (Carr, 1994, p.
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717). A weakness that can result from quantitative research in a lab is the fact that the artificial nature of the environment may not be able to recreate the same results as the situation in the real world (Clark-Carter, 2010, p. 5). Another argument about the weakness of quantitative research is the lack of researcher and participant relationship. Some have suggested that while this helps the research remain objective and unbiased as possible, it treats the participants as objects, numbers and as a source of data (Carr, 1994, pp. 717-718).

While some consider this lack of relationship and contact between the researcher and the participant to be a weakness, others consider it as a positive because it allows the researcher to remain as unbiased and objective as possible (Carr, 1994, p. 717). Another strength is that from the randomised large scale sampling that is typically used; quantitative research results usually have a higher reliability and increased chances of being able to be more generalised than qualitative research (Carr, 1994; Liamputtong,

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