Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

650 Words3 Pages
The first scenario utilizes quantitative research. This type of research uses traditional scientific method to measure and analyze evidence that yields numerical data or information (Polit & Beck, 2010). Quantitative research is allied with a positivist paradigm in which objectivity, deductive processing and generalization are employed. These methods are strengths of such research whereas the requirement of large sample sizes and the inability to answer moral or ethical questions are its weaknesses. On the evidence hierarchy, it is in the Level IIa category because it is presented as a single randomized clinical trial. For this type of study, researchers emphasize specific concepts, the existence of reality and conduct studies with a fixed design (Polit & Beck, 2010). Verification is also sought for research predictions. Experiments are implemented in a controlled environment and researchers remain distant from their subjects in order to preserve the integrity of the studies. In the second scenario, qualitative research is utilized. It is research that focuses on the human experience through narrative descriptions and explanations of investigated phenomena, that emphasize non-numerical data (Polit & Beck, 2010). It is associated with a naturalistic paradigm in which subjectivity, inductive processing and contextualization are applied. These methods, in addition to the pursuit of in-depth understanding, serve as strengths of a qualitative design. However, researcher bias, time-consuming data collection and small sample sizes are its weaknesses. Similar to quantitative research, moral and ethical questions cannot be answered using qualitative means and both research designs use empiricism to collect data. Qualitative researchers focus on detailed personal descriptions that can be hundreds of pages in length and can easily make them lose sight of its relevance to
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