Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Qualitative And Quantitative Research Methods

Words: 1414
Pages: 3

Cite This Essay

This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Research is an action that occurs in our everyday lives, it is how to get the answers to question that we have. In terms of the research processes, there are two broad methods, qualitative and quantitative. These two methods are used by researchers to gain knowledge and understanding to make informed statements. Ritchie et al explains research as being fundamentally about understanding and explaining about knowing. As such I will be discussing my understanding of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, analysing how each method approaches social issues, its differences, advantages, and limitations while using two separate research articles to highlight these points.

Firstly, social issues are aspects of both qualitative and quantitative methods and can be a reason for research or a variable that needs to be considered during the research process. An example of a social issue by Yegidis is how traditional beliefs may promote the continual oppression of members of our society. This example demonstrates one way in which a social issue, being traditional beliefs can be a topic of research in how it influences oppression as a particular demographic. Other social issues range from welfare, healthcare, religion, education, and culture.

My first point of discussion is qualitative research methods. This method generally begins with the researcher’s experiences or observations to identify patterns and themes that emerge. It conceptualises human contact between the researchers and researched, where the researcher is the primary tool for data collection and analysis. It also embodies a more person-centred approach, where the relationship formed between researchers and researched is somewhat supportive and therapeutic which is necessary to understand the environmental, social and cultural surroundings of participants of study as it sets the foundation for a more honest interview to occur. Some of the techniques and methods that fall under the qualitative umbrella range from ethnography, focus groups, in-depth interviews, content analysis, and study research.

An example of qualitative research methods by Alston and Bowles has an ethnography connotation to it. Here the researcher spends several months hanging around with a gang of street kids to investigate their lifestyles and the issues that are important to them. Another example is the use of focus groups, where both men and women from coastal villages who have been affected by cyclones are gathered together to determine what safety and early warning systems are required. As you can see these two methods have similar principles, where they are both interactive with participants however conceptualises two different approaches to answers.

A qualitative study by Seamark and Lings about the positive experience of teenage motherhood, demonstrates the use of purposive sampling aiming to minimise social issues and biases. This research article used various qualitative techniques to approach social issues. Firstly, only nine women participated in the study, this small selection is provided an opportunity for more time with individuals to build genuine relationships during the interviews. Purposeful sampling was conducted through the Honiton Practice database where mothers born between 1975 and 1981 were identified and contacted. The choice of sampling meant the mothers would have similar socioeconomic backgrounds, therefore eliminating social variables.

A female doctor from the participants’ local area was used as the interviewer. This approach had both, benefits and limitations. One benefit was that the women would feel more comfortable being interviewed by another female, therefore be able to build rapport between them which would encourage the interview process to be more genuine in the sharing of personal experiences. A limitation of this is that some women may have already known the interviewer as they come from a small community, in this case, the women may feel apprehensive in being honest which in turn would discourage rapport and knowledge being shared. This limitation is important for the interviewer to be aware of as they would have to use observation skills to identify the body language of the participant to pick up clues that will help them understand and adjust interview to help the client feel comfortable to be able to share their experience with them.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

The second research method of discussion is Quantitative. On the surface, this method seems more scientific as it deals with numerical data and generally works towards answering a hypothesis which is developed pre-data gathering. It is also one of the oldest forms of research which has adapted its self out of the natural science paradigm and operate to natural laws, as such can be accurately measured with in-depth objective research. Some examples of quantitative research are Census, Opinion polls and research which aims to establish whether there is a relationship between two or more variables. Some techniques of quantitative data collection are surveys, questioners and structured observations.

The process in which quantitative data is collected can be described as information that is countable or measurable and is designed to test hypotheses to make informed generalizations about historic behaviours or generate predictive models.However, another point of view of quantitative methods by Bryman suggest that quantitative methods are not as driven by hypothesis testing strategy than most would think, he, however, suggested that the data is often exploratory than it is given credit for and can be the cause of opportunities for the generation of new theories and concepts. These two contrasting informed opinions of quantitative methods are an example of how the same topic can have two different views based on evidence gathered.

A quantitative research article by Rajapaksa-Hewageegana which explores the sociocultural context of teenage pregnancy in Sri Lanka, aims to highlight the risks of teenage pregnancy maternal and infant health, social and economic well-being, to better understand the context of teenage pregnancy. Factors taken into consideration were socio-economic, demographic characteristics of teenagers and their partners and other factors associated with unplanned teenage pregnancy. Here you can see how the researcher uses knowledge from collected data of possible social issues that may be present in a study to get a bigger picture of variables that may be present.

The method of choice within this study was a population health registered based sample survey in the Badulla District in Sri Lanka and two samples of an Interviewer administered questionnaire. This quantitative technique is an example of how social issues can be approached, by selecting a particular demographic and using promulgated questions that are tailored to the research question. The samples within the Badulla district were 450 pregnant women under the age of 20 and 150 male partners of a pregnant woman aged less than 20. Other factors within this study that identify it as a quantitative approach are the numerical ratios, data consistency and logical range checks that were conducted before it been analysed in a computer program turning data into systematically produced tables.

As you can see from the information provided in earlier paragraphs, both quantitative and qualitative research methods have similarities and differences, that range from, types of questions asked, the way data is collected, type of data produced, degree of flexibility and techniques used. Two of the most common types of research instruments are surveys and interviews, where some of the notable variations of these instruments are how they are structured and whether they are conducted in person or online. Quantitative methods have shown to choose surveys as their preferred data gathering technique as questions can be prepared in advance allowing for a more structure approach to the research process. However, on the other hand, qualitative methods prefer interview instruments as they are a more flexible process and also allows for a more person-centred approach in data gathering.

Other fundamental differences of quantitative and qualitative methods are; Quantitative analyses processes, where quantitative methods involve mathematics, numbers. Also, Researchers tend to be more detached from participants, focuses on variables and the measuring of objective facts and has separate theory and data. Whereas qualitative methods count the number of themes or of people to which the themes apply it has a more thematic analysis process and a more in-depth focus on constructing social reality and cultural meaning. It is also more theory and data-infused, thematic in its analysis and most often researchers are more involved with participants of the study.

In conclusion, this essay has discussed quantitative and qualitative research methods similarities, differences and their approach to social issues. To say which research method is better would be a naïve statement, however deciding which research method would be preferable for a particular research project would be a more informed decision. However, using both quantitative and qualitative as a combined research methodology would provide a mixed technique to cyclically and logically explore various aspects of the presenting issue.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Qualitative And Quantitative Research Methods. (2022, February 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from
“Qualitative And Quantitative Research Methods.” Edubirdie, 27 Feb. 2022,
Qualitative And Quantitative Research Methods. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Jun. 2023].
Qualitative And Quantitative Research Methods [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 27 [cited 2023 Jun 10]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.