Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research Methods
Two Approaches to Research
- Emphasizes numbers, measurements, control, and experimentation
- This is the traditional scientific research
- Emphasizes natural settings, observations, verbal narratives, and interpretations
- Describe multiple realities
- Capture naturally occurring behavior
- Involve different combination of quantitative and qualitative methods at the level of:
- Example: A combination of questionnaire and interview.
History of Mixed Methods
- Over the past 15 years, mixed methods have been used as a third approach in research methods.
- Mostly introduced in the 1970s with the introduction of the concept of “triangulation:
- Using different methods and data sources
Typology of Mixed Methods
- ‘ QUAL’ or ‘qual’ stand for qualitative method
- ‘ QUAN’ or ‘quan’ stand for quantitative method
- Capital letters denote priority or increased weight
- Lowercase letters denote lower priority or weight
- A plus sign (+) represents a concurrent data collection
- An arrow ( ) represents a sequential collection of data
Nine possible combinations 6. QUAL quan 7. Qual QUAN 8. QUAN qual 9. quan QUAL
Which Approach is Best?
- The problem you are studying determines which approach to take.
- One is not better than the other.
Which Would You Select?
- Research problem: Error correction: Yes or no?
- Get with a partner and quickly design a study to investigate this problem.
- Decide whether to approach this problem quantitatively or qualitatively or mixed
- Tell What you would do and Why
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of your approach