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Assess the relative advantages of Quantitative research data and Qualitative

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Introduction

13th October Mr Turner Assess the relative advantages of Quantitative research data and Qualitative Quantitative research data is a formal, objective, systematic process in which numerical data is utilised to obtain information around the world. Quantitative research is all about quantifying the relationships between variables such as height, weight. It is obtained by such things as questionnaires, official statistics and planned interviews and then from the numerical data we can identify trends and correlations and get an idea of the attitudes of large numbers of people which can be very helpful. It is obtained mostly in the form of numbers. They were originally developed in the natural sciences to study natural phenomena. Qualitative research data is all types of data that are not in the form of numbers including written sources, pictures, films, open-ended questions and unstructured interviews. Qualitative data can often provide a richer and more in-depth picture of social life. It was developed in the social sciences to enable researchers to study social and cultural phenomena. Qualitative research uses unreconstructed logic to get at what is really real: the quality, meaning, context, or image of reality in what people actually do, not what they say they do. ...read more.

Middle

Structured interviews have the advantage of having a trained interviewer on hand to make sure that the questionnaire is completed according to the instructions and to help with any hard questions. There are also disadvantages of structured interviews like they can place strict limitations on respondent's answers. This is especially true to closed questions forcing respondents to choose between pre-set answers and not answering in their own way so they do not have the chose of saying what they mean. It is expensive to produce compared to other alternatives. Structures interviews will only give you a certain set of questions matching the answers you have asked but no extra unlike unstructured interviews. The main problem of Quantitative research data is validity as people may lie or say the wrong answers so people think they are better than they actually are. The results won't be accurate then and will be hard to come up with a truthful analysis. But you can also get qualitative data by such things as participant observation. This gives researchers the opportunity to observe people in their natural setting instead of more artificial contexts of the laboratory or the interview allowing researchers to see what people do as opposed to what they say they do. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is no bias due to limited response ranges The disadvantages for open ended questions are that when it comes to coding it can be difficult and time consuming. Also many researchers see closed questions as suitable for simple, factual data such as age, gender and income level where open ended questions are mostly unsuitable. Answers must be interpreted carefully before the researcher is able to say what the respondent really meant. You may not be able to make sense of what the respondent actually meant. The researcher may misinterpret the response. The main problem for qualitative research data is reliability as if another researcher did the same experiment would they get the same results as others. And if a group of researchers all researched the same topic would they all get different results? If so which should we believe. Researchers often combine quantitative and qualitative data in their research to get a fair and accurate result even thought quantitative is often more accurate than qualitative. The major difference between qualitative and quantitative research is the underlying statement about the role of the researcher. In quantitative research, the researcher is ideally an objective observer that neither participates in or influences what is being studied. In qualitative research, however, it is thought that the researcher can learn the most about a situation by participating and/or being immersed in it. ...read more.

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