What Is Qualitative And Quantitative Research Essay

1472 Words Apr 10th, 2015 null Page
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 be answered solely with numbers (Liamputtong, 2010, p. 14). This allows for a more open research approach, however, this open approach has been deemed as ‘soft science’ or ‘word science’ from some researchers because of the lack of well-defined structure and rules (Liamputtong, 2010, p. 14). Qualitative research aims to provide a deeper understanding of the research topic than quantitative research methods by taking a more subjective perspective (Burton, Westen, & Kowalski, 2015, p. 44). Usually, there are fewer participants in qualitative research because of the extensive analysis used to gain such deep understanding (Burton, Westen, & Kowalski, 2015). Fundamentally, it aspires to “capture lived experiences of the social world and the…

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