19th October 2012 at 3:25 am #2043
What exactly the difference between ” quantitative vs qualitative” research methods…19th October 2012 at 3:11 pm #2057
Uh, a lot of books have been written on that topic. In short, my take is that quantitative methods produce “figures” like a correlation coefficient or estimated marginal effect that forms the basis for causal inference. Qualitative methods relies on a diverse body of evidence (interview statements, primary sources, images, etc.) that is used for causal inference. A much more complex treatment of qualitative vs. quantitative can be found in Creswell, John W. and Vicki L. Plano Clark (2011): Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications. (even if you are not primarily interested into mixed-methods research).20th October 2012 at 12:09 am #2056
HMM THANK U…QUANTITATIVE APPEARS TO BE MORE OBJECTIVE THAN QUALITATIVE?…QUALITATIVE IS MORE ON A INTERACTIVE BASIS?…DO THEY (METHODS) ?SUPPORT EACH OTHER……I WILL TRY TO OBTAIN THE BOOK OR READ ON THE NET….GOD BLESS…20th October 2012 at 11:36 am #2055
It all depends on whom you ask or what you read. Don’t expect a clear answer to what “qualitative” and “quantitative” mean. The best thing you can hope for is to understand why some people take one perspective or the other in the qualitative-quantitative debate. You could also read
Prakash, Deepa and Audie Klotz (2007): Should We Discard the “Qualitative” Versus “Quantitative” Distinction? International Studies Review 9 (4): 753-770.20th October 2012 at 6:50 pm #2054
THANK U FOR YOUR TIME….MUCH APPRECIATED….22nd October 2012 at 11:53 am #2053Dr Mike LambertParticipant
Sepherina, I feel it is more useful to talk about quantitative/qualitative data, rather than quantitative/qualitative methods. This is because any one method can produce both kinds of data – it depends on the nature of the data and how they are analysed.
Here is a very basic explanation:
‘Methods produce two kinds of data:
- Quantitative: This kind is usually numerical, for instance: How many respondents disagreed with the statement: Mathematics is the most important subject in the curriculum? Answer: 15.
- Qualitative: These data consist of words (or visual images), for instance:
- A respondent wrote: ‘I find teaching mixed–ability classes very difficult’.
- A participant said: “The lesson went largely to plan”.
- Your record of an observation: ‘Teacher praised child for correct answer’ (but if you were counting the number of times this happened, you would then have quantitative data).
Quantitative data are usually associated with a positive paradigm; qualitative data with an interpretivist paradigm. Quantitative data can be collected from many respondents; qualitative data usually come from fewer people but allow more in–depth consideration of ideas.‘
Good luck with your research!23rd October 2012 at 3:21 am #2052
Dr. mike thank u very much..much clearer…..u can be a teacher/instructor…23rd October 2012 at 8:41 am #2051
We cannot open this debate here, but I oppose tying qualitative data to a particular paradigm/philosophy of science. Qualitative data is non-comparable data (images, interview statements etc.) as opposed to quantitative data that is comparable (Collier, David, Henry E. Brady and Jason Seawright (2004): Sources of Leverage in Causal Inference: Toward an Alternative View of Methodology. Brady, Henry E. and David Collier (eds.): Rethinking Social Inquiry. Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield: 229-266). Qualitative data is just data, an observation. How you analyze your qualitative data and on the basis of what paradigm is a separate matter.27th October 2012 at 10:08 am #2050Dr Mike LambertParticipant
These are sophisticated and interesting ideas, Ingo, and few would disagree. However, it is still true to say that ‘quantitative data are usually associated with a positive paradigm; qualitative data with an interpretivist paradigm’. Yes?27th October 2012 at 3:35 pm #2049
comprendo…senor…i understand,,,,wow!!28th October 2012 at 12:55 pm #2048
On the quantitative data and positive paradigm, I agree, on qualitative data and interpretivism, I do not know. I think we have some differences between US and Europe (and other continents), but what is needed is a throrough review of the literature.28th October 2012 at 2:45 pm #2047
HMM HMM30th October 2012 at 9:41 pm #2046David MorganParticipant
I agree with Mike that quantitative data and qualitative data are often “associated” with particular paradigms, but I think this is mostly a product of how we have been trained to discuss the big issues in Methodology, rather than how we actually do research in the field..
In actual practice, I agree with with I think is Ingo’s position — that paradigm issues do not necessarily need to exercise a major influence on how we collect and analyze data.
==>David1st January 2016 at 4:22 am #2045hafizullah khanMember
Dear Mr. Ingo
Please comment: I am conducting a research on impact of donor funded projects by visiting the beneficiaries and filling questinnairs. Main questions are the 1. Number of employment generated 2. Increase in production. Both are in terms of numbers and quantity. Will this be a quantitative method? Regards3rd January 2016 at 9:24 am #2044Stephen GorardParticipant
The whole thing is a red herring. Don’t bother to label your research as either (or as mixed – see attached). It makes no difference. There are no different techniques, paradigms or reality involved. No research is objective, as such. It just has to be reasoned. All research involves numbers (even if just ‘few’, ‘some’ etc.). It does not affect the design, or the analysis. If you want a correlation coefficient calculate and interpret it. Calling it a quantiative correlation coefficient does not alter it, it wastes words, and can confuse the unwary. Avoid the q words except as derision.
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