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Paper 3- Qualitative V. Quantitative research methods

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IB Question: Distinguish between qualitative and quantitative data. Throughout the years, there have been many debates as to whether or not experiments should use qualitative as opposed to quantitative research methods. In order for one to decide their viewpoint on the matter, one must first know the clear differences of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative research explores attitudes, behavior, and experiences by asking the participant open-ended questions which require an in-depth, opinionated answers. On the other hand, quantitative research generates statistics through the use of predetermined questions with fixed answer choices, such as yes/no questionnaires. Each type of method has its own significant use and whether or not one is more appropriate than the other has much to do with the type of experiment being conducted. ...read more.


Typically, quantitative research methods use closed-ended questions, such as a multiple choice, true/false, or yes/no type answer format; dissimilarly, qualitative research methods use open-ended questions that require the participant to provide an in-depth response. If one is not given, asking "why?" or "how?" can provoke the participant to expand their answer. The instruments used in quantitative research methods use a more rigid style of eliciting and categorizing responses to questions, while the instruments used in qualitative research use more flexible, iterative style of categorizing responses to questions. The data received in quantitative research methods is primarily numerical statistics, such as "78% of all women wear makeup," while the data format of qualitative research methods are textual, i.e. ...read more.


To conclude, there are many differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods, differences that a researcher must be aware of before they commence an experiment. One advantage of the inflexibility of the qualitative method of experimentation is the researcher's ability to directly compare the responses given by the subjects. Furthermore, the data format received is typically more intellectually sound; the rigid format of a number is much more stable than a relative term. For example, when one hears "most women wear makeup," when one hears the word "most," a number such as 78% may be the number they think of, but to someone else, the word "most" may mean a number such as 98%. However, qualitative research methods are typically more culturally salient, unanticipated by the researcher, and more explanatory in nature. ?? ?? ?? ?? Melo, Jaclyn Period 6 ...read more.

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