What are the differences between quantitative and qualitative research?
Quantitative research involves the quantification of data in order to be analysed, which usually means the use of a deductive approach and a positivist philosophy in order to gain an objective view of reality. Quantitative research is conducted through surveys, experimental methods and hypothesis testing.
Qualitative research, on the other hand, is presented in the form of words and needs methods such as content analysis and coding so that data can be managed and interpreted. Qualitative data is usually gathered through interviews, focus groups, and observations. The purpose is to investigate, rationalise, and unearth phenomena.
The advantage of using qualitative research methods is allowing participants to voice their unrestricted views, permitting the researcher to grasp an understanding of participant’s opinions, instead of looking at participants through a lens filled with abstract categories and concepts.
The defining reason to decide on a mono qualitative is to gain sensitive research matter, by probing individuals to give insightful information.
Unstructured interviews are informal, with no questions prepared beforehand to work through. As a result, the interviewee is able to tailor each answer to provide relevant information specific to them, in relation to the research area. However, structured interviews follow a fixed outline, in order to provide the interviewees with the same line of questioning. Whereas, a combination of the two, are considered semi-structured interviews. This allows the interviewer to have a more manageable structure, compared to unstructured interviews, while also circumventing the inflexibility of structured interviews.