Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative
Qualitative vs Quantitative
Much of our language is dedicated to describing people, objects, and events. This is one of the reasons that a six hundred page book can become a three hour movie: all the descriptions are cut out. When you are describing something, all of your terms fall into two categories, qualitative and quantitative. Between these two areas, nothing is out of the realm of the descriptive powers of the human language.
Definition of Qualitative and Quantitative
Qualitative ‘“ refers to specific qualities that an object or person posses. A quality is either a property or an attribute that an object posses. It is used to describe what the object is like. A quality is subjective and cannot be definitively measured.
Quantitative ‘“ refers to the specific quantity associated with an object or person. A quantity is something that can be counted or measured. It refers with the amount or the magnitude of the object being described. A quantity can be definitively measured, or quantified.
Examples of Qualitative and Quantitative Terms
Qualitative ‘“ good, bad, beautiful, ugly, useless, fascinating, boring, filthy, sparkling, pale, dark, soft, hard, wonderful, colorful, evil, angelic, etc.
Quantitative ‘“ hot, cold, long, short, fast, slow, large, small, many, few, heavy, light, near, far
Uses of Qualitative and Quantitative in our Everyday Language
Qualitative ‘“ are found more in works of literature, such as poetry. For example: ‘The woods are lovely dark and deep.’ These terms are also liberally used in advertising: ‘The best that money can buy.’ Anywhere that the impression of the object is more important than its actual physical specifications, you will find qualitative terms being used.
Quantitative ‘“ are found in areas where precision is valued. Scientists and their experiments strive to find the measurable quantities of certain objects such as how fast a particle will travel in an accelerator. Engineering also prefers quantitative terms because they need to know the specific load rating of various materials.
Both quantitative and qualitative properties were first elucidated by Aristotle during Grecian times. His terminology has become the foundation of much of our modern system of the philosophy of language. He divides descriptions into subjective and objective. Obviously, quality is considered subjective whereas quantity is objective. This classification system is still used today.
1. Qualitative and quantitative properties are used to describe objects in subjective and objective terms, respectively.
2. Quality is something that cannot be measured, only experienced, whereas quantity must be measured in order to exist to us.
3. Qualitative terms are most often found in subjective forms of writing and literature such as advertisements and poetry where the expectation is not for scientific precision. On the other hand, scientific precision is required from quantitative terminology as it described measureable attributes of objects.
4. Both quantity and quality are terms that were originally codified by the great philosopher Aristotle.
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