Essay Sample of Quantitative and Qualitative Research
Research enables the researcher to discover phenomena and aspects of the surrounding system. Consequently, research entails different methodologies with varying aims. A certain research method is more suitable for analyzing certain phenomena than others (Farghaly, 2018). However, quantitative and qualitative research are common methods used in any field. These research designs share several similarities. However, they also differ in paradigms. These variations go a long way in determining the appropriate methodology or research design for various situations (Hameed, 2020). Nonetheless, each research design leads to desired outcomes by guiding the entire research process. This discussion shall compare quantitative and qualitative research topics and their utilization in actual research settings.
Date Added: October 14, 2022
Quantitative and qualitative research are two paradigms that emerged from the epistemological, ontological, and human nature perspectives. These include the positivist and the naturalist paradigms. These two paradigms define the role of the researcher founded on the three dimensions of thoughts or perspectives mentioned above. The variations of quantitative and qualitative research emerge from these dimensions of thought because they depend on the paradigm adopted by the researcher, whether naturalist or positivist (Farghaly, 2018).
Qualitative and quantitative research are interdependent. Researchers apply the concepts of qualitative and quantitative research when analyzing different topics because the two methods are interrelated and interdependent (Hameed, 2020). For instance, while qualitative research becomes crucial in a deep comprehension of the subject, it also guides quantitative research to either generate theory or understand a phenomenon under study (Farghaly, 2018).
To begin with, although they emerge from epistemological, human nature, and ontological perspectives, the origins of quantitative and qualitative research represent various paradigms. To illustrate, a positivist and naturalistic paradigm represents quantitative and qualitative research, respectively (Farghaly, 2018). The positivism paradigm requires that a theory guides the invention of a hypothesis, which a neutral researcher tests empirically before replicating it. A qualitative paradigm emerges from a naturalistic or constructivist paradigm. It defines the role of a researcher as the entity that constructs knowledge from evidence (Steen et al., 2018). As a result, in the positivist paradigm, a researcher can either perform quantitative research based on the deductive positivist paradigm or conduct qualitative research based on the inductive naturalistic paradigm.
Secondly, the qualitative and quantitative research processes differ in their aims and methodologies. For instance, quantitative researchers peg their approaches on the notion that facts and feelings are separate entities. In his regard, they believe that the world is a single reality in which the discovery of several facts happens. Alternatively, qualitative researchers believe that the world is a system of several realities where different individual assumptions socially construct a single situation (Farghaly, 2018). As a result, unlike quantitative research, qualitative researchers can describe a single situation in different dimensions and perspectives because of the various realities of the same system or world.
Thirdly, quantitative and qualitative research differ in their respective study designs. For instance, quantitative research includes research designs like experimental, non-experimental, and quasi-experimental designs (Hameed, 2020). Each of these types of research designs entails varying processes. For instance, in experimental design, one cohort of participants or subjects obtains an intervention while another cohort does not (Farghaly, 2018). Variations exist in each design because they may be dealing with different topics or strategies of research within the broader quantitative research process. Sequentially, qualitative methodology generates designs like phenomenology, case study, historical research, narrative research, grounded theory, ethnography, and action research (Farghaly, 2018). To illustrate further, a phenomenology design focuses on the analysis of events from the viewpoint of different individuals.
In addition, quantitative and qualitative research perceives theory differently. For instance, qualitative research adopts an inductive slant to discover the observed information for different patterns and networks (Basias & Pollalis, 2018). Thus, it forms and tests hypotheses to form theory. Theory, therefore, emerges from the work of qualitative research. On the contrary, quantitative research involves a deductive formulation of a hypothesis from an existing theory (Farghaly, 2018). Researchers then test the hypothesis through data collection. The statistical outcomes of research then guide the theory’s revision process. As a result, quantitative research requires theory to generalize research outcomes. However, qualitative research requires theory to enable the organization of data sets for easy interpretation. The theory, therefore, emerges from the research.
This study aimed to compare quantitative and qualitative research. Certainly, research provides a way of understanding phenomena. Consequently, quantitative and qualitative research facilitates an extensive process of understanding different matters and phenomena. Although they share several aspects, each of the two dimensions of research is unique. Their distinctiveness appears in their designs and methodologies, origins, and wider contexts of interpretation of phenomena. Quantitative and qualitative research processes differ in goals, origin, procedure, the function of theory, and various other aspects. The functions of quantitative and qualitative research are critical in different fields, including medical education, nursing, information technology, and other science fields. The variations between quantitative and qualitative research are expansive following the complexity of the research methods. Using quantitative and qualitative research to explore phenomena can aid in an assortment of appropriate information regarding the issues under analysis.
- Basias, N., & Pollalis, Y. (2018). Quantitative and qualitative research in business & technology: Justifying a suitable research methodology. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 7, 91-105.
- Farghaly, A. (2018). Comparing and Contrasting Quantitative and Qualitative Research Approaches in Education: The Peculiar Situation of Medical Education. Education in Medicine Journal, 10(1).
- Hameed, H. (2020). Quantitative and qualitative research methods: Considerations and issues in qualitative research.
- Steen, J., DeFillippi, R., Sydow, J., Pryke, S., & Michelfelder, I. (2018). Projects and networks: Understanding resource flows and governance of temporary organizations with quantitative and qualitative research methods. Project management journal, 49(2), 3-17.