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What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research?

Quantitative Research

❶One should use personal contacts to ease entry; these would include key informants who serve as gatekeepers, but BERNARD cautions against choosing a gatekeeper who represents one side of warring factions, as the researcher may be seen as affiliated with that faction.

Qualitative and Quantitative Data

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Such kind of approach gives the ability to generalize the examples let it be a separate sample of something or the entire population such. At the same time, such kind of research in most cases is followed by the qualitative research for specifying the studying the findings more closely. That kind of research is used for getting the larger, more closeup picture of the issue in order to understand something deeper and dig the problem until the cause is found.

At the same time, the qualitative research may be a preceding one to the quantitative for generating ideas. The detailed picture that is rich of data and descriptions appears to be the ultimate purpose of conducting a qualitative analysis. For the quantitative analysis, the researcher needs to process the received data using the detailed set of classification and rules, before that the futures are classified, that helps to create the statistical models, reflecting the outcomes of the observation.

Such method can be called more objective as it skips the mere coincidences or events that happen randomly leaving the place for discovering what phenomena will likely take place in the future based on given research data. Quantitative analysis constructs the precise picture of the event occurrences, it can describe the normality and the abnormality of something that takes place in statistics media.

So the features of qualitative and quantitative analyses can be combined to get the perfect picture, the most objective and detailed one at the same time. While qualitative analysis idealizes the data causing opening the gap for the rare occasions in the research results the quantitative skips the rare and random events. Both qualitative and quantitative data analysis bear their own value and have features that can contribute the research results of each other and enrich the research results.

The combined approach involving the both methods now gaining more and more popularity among the scientists all around the world it helps to reject the biases and eliminate the breaches of the both approaches creating broader ground for studying the objects groups.

Schmied has stated that both qualitative and quantitative analyses have something to contribute to science development. It is very important to remember to take one step back from time to time in order to re-think the data gathered.

Upon gaining the fresh look and new data understanding you will be able to sort and code information more successfully, reducing all unnecessary elements. Coding too many pieces of irrelevant data can take a serious negative toll on the time you spend on your research and lead to the distortions of the results.

Before you started the research set the questions the resulting research should give the definite answers on, only replying to all of them will give your research its fullness. Apart of those questions you need to determine the key elements like:. Empirical relationships and associations are also frequently studied by using some form of general linear model , non-linear model, or by using factor analysis.

A fundamental principle in quantitative research is that correlation does not imply causation , although some such as Clive Granger suggest that a series of correlations can imply a degree of causality. This principle follows from the fact that it is always possible a spurious relationship exists for variables between which covariance is found in some degree. Associations may be examined between any combination of continuous and categorical variables using methods of statistics.

Views regarding the role of measurement in quantitative research are somewhat divergent. Measurement is often regarded as being only a means by which observations are expressed numerically in order to investigate causal relations or associations.

However, it has been argued that measurement often plays a more important role in quantitative research. This is because accepting a theory based on results of quantitative data could prove to be a natural phenomenon. He argued that such abnormalities are interesting when done during the process of obtaining data, as seen below:. In classical physics, the theory and definitions which underpin measurement are generally deterministic in nature.

In contrast, probabilistic measurement models known as the Rasch model and Item response theory models are generally employed in the social sciences. Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique for measuring social and psychological attributes and phenomena. This field is central to much quantitative research that is undertaken within the social sciences. Quantitative research may involve the use of proxies as stand-ins for other quantities that cannot be directly measured.

Tree-ring width, for example, is considered a reliable proxy of ambient environmental conditions such as the warmth of growing seasons or amount of rainfall. Although scientists cannot directly measure the temperature of past years, tree-ring width and other climate proxies have been used to provide a semi-quantitative record of average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere back to A. When used in this way, the proxy record tree ring width, say only reconstructs a certain amount of the variance of the original record.

The proxy may be calibrated for example, during the period of the instrumental record to determine how much variation is captured, including whether both short and long term variation is revealed. In the case of tree-ring width, different species in different places may show more or less sensitivity to, say, rainfall or temperature: In most physical and biological sciences , the use of either quantitative or qualitative methods is uncontroversial, and each is used when appropriate.

In the social sciences, particularly in sociology , social anthropology and psychology , the use of one or other type of method can be a matter of controversy and even ideology, with particular schools of thought within each discipline favouring one type of method and pouring scorn on to the other. The majority tendency throughout the history of social science, however, is to use eclectic approaches-by combining both methods.

Qualitative methods might be used to understand the meaning of the conclusions produced by quantitative methods. Using quantitative methods, it is possible to give precise and testable expression to qualitative ideas. This combination of quantitative and qualitative data gathering is often referred to as mixed-methods research. An effective and responsive program requires a combination of research approaches in order to have the data needed for decision making. Professionals who come to social marketing from a traditional health promotion background may have a difficult time in reconciling their notion of "what research is" with some of the methods that social marketers have appropriated from the commercial marketing tool kit.

Even those who are committed to using a mix of research methods may encounter institutional resistance to deviating from the quantitative paradigm, particularly when the proposed research will occur in a governmental or academic setting.

However, as the field of health promotion evolves from a focus on individual lifestyles and risk factors to a broader concept of social and environmental factors influencing morbidity and mortality, researchers must employ a variety of methods to reflect this new perspective. As a useful starting point, Steckler et al. In the first approach, qualitative methods contribute to the development of quantitative instruments, such as the use of focus groups in questionnaire construction. The second model consists of a primarily quantitative study that uses qualitative results to help interpret or explain the quantitative findings.

In the third approach, quantitative results help interpret predominantly qualitative findings, as when focus group participants are asked to fill out survey questionnaires at the session.

In the fourth model, the two methodologies are used equally and in parallel to cross-validate and build upon each other's results. Social marketers may operate under one or more of these models; the approaches are not mutually exclusive. A social marketing model for integrating methods must include quantitative and qualitative methods at each stage of the process for formative research, process evaluation and outcome evaluation. While each program is unique, the model proposed here can be adapted based on available resources.

During the formative research stage, in which the goal is to learn as much as possible about how the target audience thinks and behaves in relation to the issue being addressed, a host of research methods provides many different data "viewpoints" for seeing the big picture. Exploratory research conducted at the beginning of the project reviews previous research involving both quantitative and qualitative data and can include interviews with those who have previously attempted to address the issue.

This research will help in the initial development of the project strategy to delineate the parameters of the project, steer the selection of the target audience, specify the potential behaviors to be promoted and identify lessons learned and potential pitfalls. Focus groups conducted for exploration also yield valuable qualitative data regarding the target audience, providing insights into their language, issues and obstacles they identify, and meanings attributed to beliefs and behaviors.

Information learned from the initial focus groups can then be used to inform questionnaire construction for a population survey to collect hard numbers for baseline data.

The survey will also help to segment the target audience based upon its distribution across the stages of behavior change, as described by the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change Prochaska and DiClemente, , or other characteristics. In addition, commercial marketing databases, while quantitative in nature, provide highly detailed profiles of target audience segments for message development and channel selection.

The messages and materials developed based upon the exploratory research should be pretested using both qualitative and quantitative methods so that the results provide depth of understanding as well as generalizability. Focus groups provide a valuable means to pretest messages and materials, for audience members can provide spontaneous reactions and explain their responses. This method, however, can only indicate trends and cannot yield hard quantitative data needed for definitive decision making.

If enough focus groups are conducted and participants are considered representative of the target audience, a survey questionnaire may be administered either before or after the focus group to collect numerical data as well.

A central-site intercept survey, in which potential audience members are approached in a public area and asked to respond to a quick questionnaire, provides another method of pretesting materials.

The fast turnaround nature of this method and high volume of responses makes it ideal for testing draft executions of materials such as print or television ads prior to production and implementation. This method is considered semi-quantitative because respondents are not selected from a random sample, but questions are usually closed-ended and tabulated statistically.

Final decisions, such as choosing from among several possible ads, can be made based on the numbers this method yields. Upon implementation of the program, process evaluation helps to keep the project on track and signals when changes are needed in the program strategy.

The most common data collection activity in this phase involves counting--materials distributed, number of people attending activities, broadcasts of the television or radio ads, media coverage of events, phone calls to the organization--to ensure that the project proceeds as intended. Other quantitative tracking mechanisms, such as consumer surveys, identify whether the program's message is reaching the target audience and is getting its attention and motivating action.

In an ongoing multi-year project, this may be a repetition of the population survey conducted at the beginning; for a shorter-term project, a survey may target a very specific audience segment. Qualitative process evaluation methods can include periodic interviews or focus groups with target audience members to assess their progress toward behavior change.

Qualitative Analysis: Rich and Precise

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Quantitative Analysis: General, Steady and Reliable. For the quantitative analysis, the researcher needs to process the received data using the detailed set of classification and rules, before that the futures are classified, that helps to create the statistical models, reflecting the .

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Data analysis is a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions, and supporting decision-making. Data analysis has multiple facets and approaches, encompassing diverse techniques under a variety of names, while being used in different business, science, and social science domains.

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15 Methods of Data Analysis in Qualitative Research Compiled by Donald Ratcliff 1. Typology - a classification system, taken from patterns, themes, or other kinds of. In natural sciences and social sciences, quantitative research is the systematic empirical investigation of observable phenomena via statistical, mathematical, or computational techniques. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories, and hypotheses pertaining to phenomena. The process of measurement is central to quantitative research because.

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