Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods Essay
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
There are different research methods that have been guided by different philosophy of science that were developed by philosopher, researcher and sociologist at their time of era. The well-known research methods are quantitative research methods. Quantitative are numerical methods associated with deductive approaches. Quantitative research methods are usually guided by the principles of positivism as it takes on objective reality and accepts single reality. Quantitative methods are usually used to measure size, observe numerical change over time, audience segmentation, testing hypothesis, and, quantifying attitudes, behaviors and opinions. The main importance of quantitative research is on deductive reasoning which tends to move from the general to the specific. The validity of conclusions is shown to be dependent on one or more premises being valid. For example, All students who study MBA in Kathmandu University works in a bank. Seema studies in MBA in Kathmandu University. Based on the premises, we can say that Seema works in a bank. Premises used in deductive reasoning are important because faulty premises can lead to wrong conclusions.
Another popular method is qualitative method, which are usually associated with inductive approaches. Qualitative research methods are used on subjective matter, as in-depth study to explore subject matter. Qualitative research methods are guided by philosophies as post-positivism, critical theory, and constructivism. Qualitative research methods offer different kinds of ways to investigate on research problems as interview methods, focused group discussions,case studies and many others to understand the certain circumstances or culture in the society.
The approach adopted by qualitative researchers tends to be inductive which means that they develop a theory or look for a pattern of meaning on the basis of the data that they have collected. This involves a move from the specific to the general and is sometimes called a bottom-up approach. However, most research projects also involve a certain degree of deductive reasoning (Trochim, 2005).
Quantitative Research is more about collecting numerical data to study about certain phenomena. For example, what percentage of Nepalese student who go to US for foreign degree complete graduate course in United States? Other examples may be what percentage of Nepalese students who are studying in TU have negative attitude towards TU administrations. One usually has to use quantitative research when one wants answer in numbers. However, one has to study about complex situations and go with in-depth studies then qualitative methods should be used.
For example, researcher wants to know how people view politics in Nepal? Similarly, a researcher wants to do ethnographic study of the culture of Tharus of Nepal and lives with Tharu for some years, immerse himself/herself in that environment to discover the meanings, convention of behavior, and ways of thinking important in tharu cultures.
Similarly, even though the selection of research methods are based upon the problem selected, resource available, the skills of researcher and audience of the research, both the methodologies are also used together in a research which is known as mixed methods. “Mixed methods often combine nomothetic and idiographic approaches in an attempt to serve the dual purposes of generalization and in-depth understanding—to gain an overview of social regularities from a larger sample while understanding the other through detailed study of a smaller sample. Full integration of these approaches is difficult, hence the predominance of component studies”(Pat Bazeley, 2004)
Social Research Methods. (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2012, from www.socialresearchmethods. net:
http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/positivism (2005). In W. M. Trochium, Research Methods (2nd ed.).
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 December 2016
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