Both methods are quite useful depending on the type of study. Some dissertations and research studies take a mixed method approach, which incorporates qualitative and quantitative methods in different phases to obtain a broader perspective.
You may be very familiar with quantitative research from your science classes where you learned and practiced using the scientific method. A problem or question is examined by deductively forming a hypothesis derived from theory. Controlled, objective testing and experimentation ultimately supports or rejects your hypotheses. Each step is standardized to reduce bias when collecting and analyzing data.
A big advantage of this approach is that the results are valid, reliable and generalizable to a larger population. Quantitative research is advantageous for studies that involve numbers, such as measuring achievement gaps between different groups of students or assessing the effectiveness of a new blood pressure medication.
While quantitative research methods work well in the laboratory under tightly controlled conditions, measuring phenomena like human behavior in natural settings is trickier. Survey instruments are vulnerable to errors such as mistakes in measurement and flawed sampling techniques. Another disadvantage is that quantitative research involves numbers, but some topics are too difficult to quantify in numbers.
For example, constructing an effective survey with closed-ended questions about how people fall in love would be difficult. Qualitative research is often used to conduct social and behavioral studies because human interactions are more complex than molecular reactions in a beaker.
Subjectivity, nonrandom sampling and small sample size distinguishes qualitative research from quantitative research. A big advantage of qualitative research is the ability to deeply probe and obtain rich descriptive data about social phenomena through structured interviews, cultural immersion, case studies and observation, for instance. Examples include ethnography, narratives and grounded theory. Qualitative studies often take more time to complete due to the pain staking nature of gathering and analyzing field notes, transcribing interviews, identifying themes and studying photographs, for instance.
Studies are not easily replicable or generalizable to the general population. Lacking rigorous scientific controls and numerical data, qualitative findings may be dismissed by some researchers as anecdotal information. A mixed method approach capitalizes on the advantages of the quantitative and qualitative methods while offsetting the drawbacks of each. For instance, a principal interested in building rapport with parents of school children might undertake a mixed method study.
In quantitative research, the data can be assumed to be true to the general population in terms of the proportion of respondents who will generally respond in the same way to the same types of questions. In qualitative research, such projections onto the general population are not possible because the researcher is working with general data.
Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business.
He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history. Skip to main content. Accuracy Qualitative research in marketing does not ensure accuracy in the same way quantitative research does.
Hypotheses Qualitative research differs from quantitative research at the initial starting point. Effort Qualitative research produces large amounts of data from which the researcher can make broad extrapolations and attempt to determine the best course of action.
Conclusions Qualitative research is also a disadvantage in terms of the type of conclusions that can be drawn from its data. References 4 Macro Consulting; Quantitative vs. About the Author Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. Accessed 14 September Small Business - Chron.
Selecting the best research method allows you to successfully answer a research question or test a hypothesis. Missteps at the onset of the research process may derail an otherwise promising study. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative and qualitative .
Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative research and how and when to use it versus qualitative methods in market research.
Upon learning the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative research, you can now determine if this type of research will best suit your needs and preferences in terms of conducting a research. Rahman () discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and ethical issues of employing qualitative and quantitative methods in a research project in the field of language testing and assessment.
Qualitative and quantitative research have several advantages and disadvantages, depending upon the researcher's aim and area of focus. Advantages of qualitative research Qualitative research is useful during the early stages of a study when the researcher may be unsure of exactly what will be studied or what to focus on. Pros and Cons of Quantitative Research. The Cons of Quantitative Research. Here are the main disadvantages of quantitative research: • Needs a Huge Sample of Population: This is more costly compared to qualitative research. How Do You Feel About Quantitative Research?