Quantitative and Qualitative Research

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Psychology Qualitative research collects information that is not in numerical form. For example, diary accounts, open-ended questionnaires, unstructured interviews and unstructured observations. Qualitative data is usually descriptive data and is harder to analyze than quantitative data. Qualitative research is useful for studies at the individual level and to find out the ways in which people think or feel. (Example case studies) Analysis of qualitative data is difficult and requires accurate description of participant responses, also data and great care must be taken when doing so, for example; looking for symptoms of mental illness. However the participants are able to provide data in their own words and in their own way also qualities research explores new area of research. It also builds new theories and examines complex questions that can be impossible with qualitative method. On the other hand qualitative researchers cannot carefully look at the detailed structures original difficult natural relations. Quantitative research gathers data in numerical form which can be put into categories, or in rank order, or measured in units of measurement. This type of data can be used to construct graphs and tables of raw data. Quantitative results are limited as they provide numerical descriptions rather than detailed storyline and usually provide less detailed accounts of human awareness. The research is often carried out in an unnatural, artificial environment so that a level of control can be practical to the exercise. This level of control might be different in the real world firm laboratory results to real world results. In addition specific answers will not necessarily reflect how people really feel about a subject and in some cases might just be the closest match. On the other hand the development of standard questions by researchers can lead to 'structural'
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