Qualitative and quantitative methodology

Novice researchers often wonder: Should I conduct qualitative or quantitative research? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. In fact, it is not possible to explicitly establish which research methodology is ideal without knowing what the question is and what the researcher’s epistemological belief is .

When we speak of  qualitative or quantitative , we refer to a “Research Methodology” . From a very theoretical point of view, this determines how the researcher will try to know the necessary data and what techniques he will use to acquire them. Next we will show you the main differences between quantitative and qualitative research methodology .

Quantitative methodology

Qualitative methodology

EpistemologyReality can be studied, captured and understoodThe researcher is part of the research process
NatureDeductivaInductive
PurposeGeneralizabilityContextualization
Investigator roleTarget and remoteThe researcher and the researched interact
MethodologyHypothetical-deductiveInductive / interpretive
Data collectionGenerate numerical data to represent the social environment.Verbal data and observations to represent the social environment.
Data analysisStatistics and summarySubjective and Interpretive

Differences between quantitative and qualitative methodologies

What is the quantitative methodology

The quantitative approach is deductive, theoretical and shows the hypothetical relationships between certain variables. Observe specific phenomena based on specific reference theories. In the quantitative approach, hypotheses are deductively derived from theory and then falsified by empirical research . Quantitative techniques can measure specific characteristics through structured data collection procedures from a large representative sample so that the results can be projected to the entire population.

An advantage of this research approach is that it provides a concise answer to the research question by acquiring and analyzing information that can be aggregated from the survey data. The findings of the quantitative methodology can be generalized, where a certain context is only relevant to the subject of study. However, the quantitative approach has often been criticized for not considering the subjective aspectof a research phenomenon. Researchers in the social sciences, therefore, have debated the use of quantitative methodology to explore the phenomenon that is inherently social. Proponents of this methodology argue that a rich understanding of our complex world is lost if realities are fully described according to a series of law-like generalizations.

What is qualitative methodology

The qualitative methodology is inductive and is driven by the constructivist paradigm that affirms that reality resides in the minds of the individuals who possess them. The inductive approach allows research findings to emerge from the prevalent and dominant themes inherent in raw data without constraints imposed by structured methodologies. There the perceptions are obtained mainly through the collection, organization and interpretation of textual materials derived from talks, interviews or observation. Since the qualitative method is capable of revealing the rich symbolic world that underlies motivations, needs, desires and choices, it is considered more suitable for the study of social phenomena.

It allows the researcher to discover and conceptualize those phenomena about which little is known or to expand what is known . Qualitative research builds on the limitations of quantitative research that produces scientific results based on structured calculating examination and statistical data. Some researchers believe that scientific studies do not produce absolute truths that can be uncritically adopted or accepted. The strength of qualitative research is that it is more naturalistic and interpretive . This approach provides intricate details of phenomena that are difficult to explore with quantitative methods.

We have reached the end of our article. We hope you have been able to understand the differences between qualitative and quantitative methodology . If you have any questions, leave us a comment at the bottom of the page. We will respond to you as soon as possible and we will do everything possible so that you understand the subject perfectly.

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