Qualitative and Quantitative Research

A research can be classified into two groups: Qualitative and Quantitative Research

  1. Qualitative Research
    Qualitative research involves collecting data from in-dept interviews, observations, field notes, and open-ended questions in questionnaire etc. The researcher himself is the primary data collection instrument and the data could be collected in form of words, images, and patterns etc.For Qualitative Research, data Analysis involves searching for patterns, themes and holistic features. Results of such research are likely to be context specific and reporting takes the form of a narrative with contextual description and direct quotations from researchers.
  2. Quantitative Research
    Quantitative research involves collecting quantitative data based on precise measurement using some structured, reliable and validated collection instruments (questionnaire) or through archival data sources. The nature of quantitative data is in the form of variables and its data analysis involves establishing statistical relationship. If properly done, results of such research are generalize able  to entire population.Quantitative research could be classified into two groups depending on the data collection methodologies

    1. Experimental Research
      The main purpose of experimental research is to establish a cause and effect relationship. The defining characteristics of experimental research are active manipulation of independent variables and the random assignment of participants to the conditions to be manipulated, everything else should be kept as similar and as constant as possible.To depict the way experiments are conducted, a term used is called design of experiment. There are two main types of experimental design.

      • Between Subjects Design
        In within subject design, the same group of subjects serves in more than one treatment
      • In between group design, two or more groups of subjects, each of which being tested by a different testing factor simultaneously.
    2. Non-Experimental Research
      Non-Experimental Research is commonly used in sociology, political science and management disciplines. This kind of research is often done with the help of a survey. There is no random assignment of participants to a particular group nor do we manipulate the independent variables. As a result one cannot establish a cause and effect relationship through non-experimental research. There are two approaches to analyzing such data

      1. Tests for approaches to analyzing such data such as IQ level of participants from different ethnic background.
      2. Tests for significant association between two factors such as firm sales and advertising expenditure.


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