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Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

qualitative_research_bookQualitative vs Quantitative Research

Research methodology can be significantly defined by choosing how the difference between qualitative and quantitative research will impact your studies. Being able to focus on the methodology will help define the terms of your research, and your execution in gathering data.

One of the best examples of qualitative research, is the interview of a focus group. This style of research provides attention to variances such as behavioral and experience factors, as well as the attitudes of the subjects.

This can require a longer period of time to develop the research subjects, as well as to develop the data. Contact with individuals is much more extensive in order to develop the most accurate profile possible to ensure that the research is accurate.

Qualitative research can offer more varying techniques for data development. Questions, interviews, group participation, and even task oriented observations are just a few examples of the optional methods frequently used in studies.

Of course, quantitative research is focused more on data that can be gathered through large scale inventorying of information. Surveys of specific types of individuals can create this data without the same time investment that qualitative research requires. The screening of candidates is usually faster process as well, because disqualifying questions can ensure the integrity of the study.

This can also mean a much longer experience when sorting through the data to create usable information between the initial informational gathering attempts and the actual compiling of data.

On average, it is said that quantitative research requires three to four times the number of subjects compared to the number of subjects needed for qualitative research. You also tend to lose your ability to hand select your candidates, which can be beneficial in some cases.

There is much debate regarding which methodology is more effective in delivering data that can be considered reliable and scientific. Ultimately, there are studies that lend themselves to one or the other. Scientific accuracy is just as much in the hands of the researcher as it is in the methodology.


1. Qualitative research focuses on smaller groups.
2. Qualitative research devotes more time to subject selection and study.
3. Quantitative research focuses on larger groups.
4. Quantitative research spends more time on processing data.
5. Qualitative research has more techniques for developing data.
6. Quantitative research does not allow an intensive selection process for subjects.

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  1. I found the article very useful for my assignment discussion.I’m a criminology student at UNISA and i’m happy to find a platform like this.

  2. i have got a very clear point .thank a lot

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