Thursday, August 20, 2009

Difference Quantitative and Qualitative Method - 3

3. Research characteristics

Main Points

a. Qualitative research involves analysis of data such as words (e.g., from interviews), pictures (e.g., video), or objects (e.g., an artifact).
b. Quantitative research involves analysis of numerical data.
c. The strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research are a perennial, hot debate, especially in the social sciences. The issues invoke classic 'paradigm war'.
d. The personality / thinking style of the researcher and/or the culture of the organization is under-recognized as a key factor in preferred choice of methods.
e. Overly focusing on the debate of "qualitative versus quantitative" frames the methods in opposition. It is important to focus also on how the techniques can be integrated, such as in mixed methods research. More good can come of social science researchers developing skills in both realms than debating which method is superior.

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