Social Research Methods Quantitative And Qualitative Approaches Pdf

social research methods quantitative and qualitative approaches pdf

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Home Consumer Insights Market Research. Different socio-economic groups belonging to different parts of a county think differently. Various aspects of human behavior need to be addressed to understand their thoughts and feedback about the social world, which can be done using Social Research.

Researchers often have issues choosing which research method to go with: quantitative or qualitative research methods? Many incorrectly think the two terms can be used interchangeably. Qualitative research is regarded as exploratory and is used to uncover trends in thoughts and opinions, while quantitative research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics.


Researchers often have issues choosing which research method to go with: quantitative or qualitative research methods? Many incorrectly think the two terms can be used interchangeably. Qualitative research is regarded as exploratory and is used to uncover trends in thoughts and opinions, while quantitative research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics.

At the end of this article, you will understand why you should consider using quantitative research instead of qualitative method in your research surveys. Qualitative research is a process of real-life inquiry that aims to understand social phenomena. It is a scientific research method used to gather non-numerical data.

Qualitative research focuses on human behavior from a participant's point of view. The three major focus areas are individuals, societies and cultures, and language and communication — employed across academic disciplines, qualitative market research, journalism, business, and so on.

Qualitative researchers use varying methods of inquiry for the study of human phenomena including biography, case study, historical analysis, discourse analysis, ethnography, grounded theory and phenomenology.

The common assumptions are that knowledge is subjective rather than objective and that the researcher learns from the participants in order to understand the meaning of their lives.

Types of Qualitative Research. Just as quantitative, there are varieties of qualitative research methods. We shall look at five types of qualitative research that are widely used in business, education and government organizational models. This method occurs over extended periods of time and garners information as it happens.

It laces a sequence of events, usually from just one or two individuals to form a consistent story. Narrative research can be considered both a research method in itself but also the phenomenon under study. Businesses use the narrative method to define buyer personas and use them to identify innovations that appeal to a target market. This method is one of the most popular and widely recognized methods of qualitative research, as it immerses samples in cultures unfamiliar to them.

The researcher is also often immersed as a subject for extended periods of time. The objective is to understand and describe characteristics of cultures the same way anthropologists observe cultural variations among humans. The very way in which they tell us about what they do, tells the researcher a great deal about what is meaningful for and in the research.

It adds richness and texture to the experience of conducting research. The ethnographic method looks at people in their cultural setting; their behavior as well as their words; their interactions with one another and with their social and cultural environment; their language and its symbols; rituals etc. This method investigates past events in order to learn present patterns and anticipate future choices.

It enables the researcher to explore and explain the meanings, phases and characteristics of a phenomenon or process at a particular point of time in the past. It is not simply the accumulation of dates and facts or even just a description of past happenings but is a flowing and dynamic explanation or description of past events which include an interpretation of these events in an effort to recapture implications, personalities and ideas that have influenced these events ibid.

Businesses can use historical data of previous ad campaigns alongside their targeted demographic to split-test new campaigns. This would help determine the more effective campaign. The grounded theory research method looks at large subject matters and attempts to explain why a course of action progresses the way it did.

Simply put, it seeks to provide an explanation or theory behind the events. Sample sizes are often larger to better establish a theory. Grounded theory can help inform design decisions by better understanding how a community of users currently use a product or perform tasks.

For example, a grounded theory study could involve understanding how software developers use portals to communicate and write code. Businesses use grounded theory when conducting user or satisfaction surveys that target why consumers use company products or services. This involves deep understanding through multiple data sources. Case studies can be explanatory, exploratory, or descriptive. Unlike grounded theory, the case study method provides an in-depth look at one test subject.

The subject can be a person or family, business or organization, or a town or city. Businesses often use case studies when marketing to new clients to show how their business solutions solve a problem for the subject.

Quantitative research is used to quantify behaviors, opinions, attitudes, and other variables and make generalizations from a larger population. This type of research method involves the use of statistical, mathematical tools to derive results. When trying to quantify a problem, quantitative data will conclude on its purpose and understand how dominant it is by looking for results that can be projected to a larger population.

This data collection method includes various forms of online, paper, mobile, kiosk surveys; online polls; systematic observations; face-to-face interviews, phone interviews and so on. Researchers who use quantitative research method are typically looking to quantify the degree and accentuate objective measurements through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating an existing statistical data using computational techniques.

Summarily, the goal in quantitative research is to understand the relationship between an independent and dependent variable in a population. There are four main types of quantitative research designs: correlational, descriptive, experimental and quasi-experimental.

Descriptive research is pretty much as it sounds — it describes circumstances. It can be used to define respondent characteristics, organize comparisons, measure data trends, validate existing conditions. Data collection is mostly by observation and the researcher does not begin with a hypothesis but, creates one after the data is collected.

Albeit very useful, this method cannot draw conclusions from received data and cannot determine cause and effect. Correlational research is a non-experimental research method, where the researcher measures two variables, and studies the statistical relationship i.

The researcher ultimately assesses that relationship without influence from any peripheral variable. We also memorize the jingle that comes from the speakers of the truck.

And if there are multiple ice cream trucks in the area with different jingles, we would be able to memorize all of it and relate particular jingles to particular trucks. This is how correlational method works. The most prominent feature of correlational research is that the two variables are measured — neither is manipulated. A correlation has direction and can be either positive or negative. It can also differ in the degree or strength of the relationship.

It is commonly defined as a type of research where the scientist actively influences something to observe the consequences. Experimental research is commonly used in sciences such as sociology and psychology, physics, chemistry, biology and medicine and so on.

Quasi-experimental research resembles experimental research but is not a true experimental research. In this type of research, the researcher seeks to establish a cause-effect relationship between two variables and manipulates the independent variable.

Survey Research uses interviews, questionnaires, and sampling polls to get a sense of behavior with concentrated precision. Researchers are able to judge behavior and then present the findings in an accurate way. Survey research can be conducted around one group specifically or used to compare several groups.

When conducting survey research, it is imperative that the researcher samples random people. This allows for more accurate findings across a greater number of respondents.

This kind of research can be done in person, over the phone, or through email. They can be self-administered. Quantitative research is more preferred over qualitative research because it is more scientific, objective, fast, focused and acceptable. However, qualitative research is used when the researcher has no idea what to expect. It is used to define the problem or develop and approach to the problem. Everything is either 1 or 0 " - Fred Kerlinger.

When to use Quantitative Research Method. It can help you see the big picture. A researcher may want to determine the link between income and whether or not more people pay taxes. The method will be structured and consistent during data collection, most likely using a questionnaire with closed-ended questions.

The data can be used to look for cause and effect relationships and therefore, can be used to make predictions. The results will provide numerical data that can be analyzed statistically as the researcher looks for a correlation between income and tax payers.

Quantitative methodology would best apply to this research problem. The data received is statistically valid and can be generalized to the entire user population. Basically, quantitative research is helpful when you get feedback from more than a handful of participants; need to present a more convincing case to an audience; you want to gather feedback from a diverse population of users NOT all located in the same place; you have a limited budget.

Qualitative research is explanatory and is used when the researcher has no idea what to expect. It is used to delve deeper into issues of interest. Qualitative data adds the details and can also give a human voice to your results. Use this type of research method if you want to do in-depth interviews, want to analyze issues affecting focus groups, want uninterrupted observation and ethnographic participation.

You can use it to initiate your research by discovering the problems or opportunities people are thinking about. Those ideas can later become hypotheses. Quotes from open-ended questions in qualitative research can put a human voice to the objective numbers and trends in your results. Many times, it helps to hear your customers describe your organization honestly which helps point out blind spots.

Choose qualitative research if you want to capture the language and imagery customers use to describe and can easily relate with a brand, product, service and so on. Qualitative data consists of words, observations, pictures, and symbols. Analyzing received data typically occurs simultaneously with the data collection. See qualitative research can be analysed and interpreted with the following steps:. Quantitative research methods result in data that provides quantifiable, objective, and easy to interpret results.

Quantitative data can be analyzed in several ways. The first thing to do for quantitative data is to identify the scales of measurement. There are four levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio scale. Identifying the scale of measurement helps determine how best to organize the data.

How to Construct a Mixed Methods Research Design

Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, documents, and artifacts. The data are generally nonnumerical. Qualitative methods include ethnography , grounded theory , discourse analysis , and interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative research has been informed by several strands of philosophical thought and examines aspects of human life, including culture, expression, beliefs, morality, life stress, and imagination. Several philosophical and psychological traditions have influenced investigators' approaches to qualitative research, including phenomenology, social constructionism, symbolic interactionism, and positivism.

An introduction to qualitative research

Hammarberg, M. Kirkman, S. The authors report that the guidelines are based on a comprehensive review of the literature and we congratulate them on their meticulous compilation of evidence into a clinically useful document. However, when we read the methodology section, we were baffled and disappointed to find that evidence from research using qualitative methods was not included in the formulation of the guidelines.

Ben-Eliyahu completed her doctorate in developmental psychology at Duke University, where she honed very strong skills in methods. Prior to arriving at Boston, Dr. In the world of research, there are two general approaches to gathering and reporting information: qualitative and quantitative approaches. The qualitative approach to research is focused on understanding a phenomenon from a closer perspective.

Learning Skills:. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter and start improving your life in just 5 minutes a day. Which you choose will depend on your research questions, your underlying philosophy of research, and your preferences and skills. Our pages Introduction to Research Methods and Designing Research set out some of the issues about the underlying philosophy.


What is qualitative research? We define qualitative research as an iterative process in which improved understanding to the scientific community is achieved by making new significant distinctions resulting from getting closer to the phenomenon studied. This formulation is developed as a tool to help improve research designs while stressing that a qualitative dimension is present in quantitative work as well. Additionally, it can facilitate teaching, communication between researchers, diminish the gap between qualitative and quantitative researchers, help to address critiques of qualitative methods, and be used as a standard of evaluation of qualitative research. If we assume that there is something called qualitative research, what exactly is this qualitative feature?

Basics of Social Research - Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (2nd Edition)

Language: English German. We explain the seven major design dimensions: purpose, theoretical drive, timing simultaneity and dependency , point of integration, typological versus interactive design approaches, planned versus emergent design, and design complexity. There also are multiple secondary dimensions that need to be considered during the design process.

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Social research methods : qualitative and quantitative approaches

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