DH450
 Getting StartedSyllabusClassLibraryCommunicate
  Help

DH450 : The Class : Research Methods : Types of Research : Research Methods

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

The purpose or goal of a research project guides the design. There are two major approaches to research: Qualitative and Quantitative.

Purpose of Research

Qualitative

Quantitative

  • Develop theory
  • Explore a topic
  • Develop a hypothesis
  • Test theory
  • Establish fact
  • Show causal or other relationships between variables


Research Approach

Qualitative

Quantitative

Begins with a vague, general question or a broad topic
Examples:

  • Why do people choose tooth loss instead of restoration?
  • Why do some people do volunteer work? What determines if one will volunteer?
  • What is it like to live with a particular disease?

Begins with a specific hypothesis that addresses one issue
Examples:

  • The daily use of fluoride will reducecaries.
  • Frequent professional maintenance will reduce periodontal disease

Qualitative research often leads to quantitative research. For example, in the tooth loss study mentioned above:

Qualitative VS. Quantitative

Qualitative

Quantitative

  • General, flexible
  • Evolves during the study
  • Setting is natural or in the field
  • The researcher has intense contact with participants over a long period of time

    Ex: to discover what is like to live with a disease, the researcher may actually live with several individuals who have the disease, then look for patterns, similarities etc.
  • Structured, formal
  • Constant during the study
  • Setting is often a lab or clinic
  • Researcher observes, measures, doesn't influence the data by personal involvement with subjects

    Ex: researcher may count behaviors through a one-way mirror


Data Generated

Qualitative

Quantitative

  • Deals with qualities
  • Field notes, generalities
  • Peoples own words
  • Counts, numbers
  • Statistical


Data Analysis

Qualitative

Quantitative

  • Time consuming
  • Ongoing during the study

Methods:

    • Coding
    • Event listing
    • Pattern matching
  • Quick
  • Occurs at the end of the study

Methods:

    • Deductive
    • Statistical

 

Outcome

Qualitative

Quantitative

  • Pose a hypothesis
  • Grounded theory
  • Lengthy
  • Descriptive
  • Answer a question
  • Statistical evidence to prove a point
  • Brief

 

Strategies

Qualitative

Quantitative

  • Ethnography: Describe culture or aspects
  • Phenomenology: Study from informants point of view, understand subjective aspects of behavior
  • Unobtrusive Observation:Gather data without influencing
  • Participant Observation:Investigator takes part in participants' world to obtain data
  • Interview
  • Manipulation: Change a variable and measure difference it makes
  • Control: Eliminate interfering influence
  • Randomization: Reduce systematic bias

Once you have finished the lesson you should:

Go on to Summarize what you have learned
or
Go back to Types of Research: Qualitative vs. Quantitative

E-mail Tricia Moore at Tricia.Moore@nau.edu
or call (520) 523-4012


NAU

Copyright © 2000 Northern Arizona University
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED