Many mistakenly think the two terms can be used interchangeably. So what is the difference between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research?
Formulating A Qualitative Research Question 1.
What Is Qualitative Research? When planning a research project, a good Qualitative research study point is to think about your own position regarding how you see the world. What do you think can be studied? Is there a real objective world out there that we can examine as researchers?
Or can we only examine constructions of something that might be real, true and objective? Or is everything a construction? If you have never thought about this and you want to conduct scientific research, a recommendation is to read the seminal works by Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend: Kuhn shows that many of the great scientific discoveries were made by chance rather than by applying a rigid methodology.
Thus, we can never be sure whether our knowledge is in fact objective or whether it is limited to what we are able to see at the moment.
The limitations may be of technical or cognitive nature. Kuhn provides examples where scientists have not recognized obvious facts just because they did not believe that they could exist.
When you are interested to find out more about the way science works, I recommend reading the book yourself. For all readers with German language proficiency, I suggest the book by Wallach on the philosophical basic Qualitative research study science.
Feyerabend is another must-read if you are interested in the philosophy of science. He became known as revolutionary scientists and most readers are likely to have heard about his famous methodological conclusion: A famous quote is: What is qualitative research and how can we define it?
This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them.
Additionally, special consideration is given to the researcher as person. He or she is not the independent observer in a white coat — a picture that is often drawn when natural scientists are depicted. As Denzin and Lincoln write: We can only see what our class, culture, race, gender or other factors allows us to recognize.
There are plenty of examples for this in our everyday life. One day I needed a longer cable and asked the secretary whether the institute had such a cable. I had already looked through the cupboard where the cables are stored but did not find anything. The secretary then went together with me to the same cupboard and gave me a long transparent cable.
I had looked for something black and therefore did not see it. The same happens when you conduct research and simply do not consider that the thing you look for might be red or blue or even patterned instead of black and white. There are numerous famous examples where major discoveries were delayed or where observations were ignored because they did not fit prevalent theory and thus inhibiting progress and knowledge generation.
When you are interested, take a look at the already mentioned books by Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend. I am not sure whether you, the reader, already have a clear position about how you see the world that you want to examine in your research project.
But you should grasp by now that qualitative research is not desk research, we go out into whatever we consider the real world, observe and talk to people, interact with them aiming to understand what is important to them and how they perceive the world.
Self-reflection is our constant companion and from the very beginning to the end of a research project it is important to consider who we are, how we are perceived by others and as what kind of person we enter the field.
This also influences the type of research question we select. Very reassuring for beginning researchers, he states that research follows a uniform structure, which applies to our everyday life as well as to science.
In other words, there are familiar elements in conducting research and we can draw on knowledge that we already have gained in our everyday life.
Dewey describes the research process as follows:Qualitative research aims at in-depth understanding of a subject through methods such as interview, case study, observations, and others, focusing on the "why" and "how" of things.
Some examples of qualitative research include a study on the culture of a religious school to evaluate the same as an alternative to public education, a research to increase patronage of a retail store, and more. Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research in data collection, online surveys, paper surveys, quantifiable research, and quantifiable data.
What is qualitative research and how can we define it? In the handbook of qualitative research Denzin and Lincoln () describe qualitative research as involving “ an interpretive naturalistic approach to the world.
As in example 2, results from a qualitative study cannot be used to generalize to larger portions of the society, i.e. Qualitative research design is a research method used extensively by scientists and researchers studying human behavior, opinions, themes and motivations.
It is thinkable to design a study where all groups are included, but this would be very large and extensive qualitative research project. The advice here is to narrow the question to one particular group of immigrants. Qualitative case study methodology provides tools for researchers to study complex phenomena within their contexts.
When the approach is applied correctly, it becomes a valuable method for health science research to develop theory, evaluate programs, and develop interventions.