What are the differences between quantitative and qualitative strategies and methods/procedures?
Social Science Research Methods
Social Scientists use two primary methods. First off, there is the Quantitative Method. It has many applications but at its heart it seeks to measure and quantify a social phenomenon. This is how social theories are arrived at. For Quantitative, the process usually goes like this:
Hypothesis >> data gathering/sampling >> testing of hypothesis on data >> retest/new data gathering for more samples >> analysis of results >> conclusion
Quantitative research methods of course follow certain philosophies and can be modified to fit into certain theoretical studies. It could be simple and complex especially when the kind of 'data' is identified. Some social scientists conduct observations, fieldwork & interviews, some employ questionnaires and random sampling. This is usually employed by Economists and Sociologists. Quantitative methods include statistical analysis & use of databases, interviews as well as surveys and use of pre-existing published materials, usually peer reviewed and quantified/proven. The purpose of quantitative methods in doing research is to 'measure' and give a sense of depth and breadth to the subject at hand, that, during analysis, when patterns are sought, the data can be gone over again and again for the purpose of testing to verify the patterns that are emerging and the conclusions they lead researchers to - used mostly by market research agencies, government research bodies, for example, when they seek to put together a census of the populace or when they are putting together polls of public opinion.
Then there is the Qualitative Method. It is the opposite of the quantitative method in that it seeks to present all the messy details - the quality therefore is more important here. Qualitative research is all about seeking out as much as possible about a subject matter to arrive at patterns and 'social knowledge' that can be used to identify, understand and explain a social phenomenon by knowing as much as possible about it. This is usually employed by ethnographers, historians, but especially ethno-anthropologists. A preferred method is ethnography. The qualitative method does not seek to measure a research topic but seeks to find out as much about it as possible with all the messy details from an immersive/observative point of view. Used as the choice method in ethnography, the qualitative approach is at the heart of Ethnomethodology when, for example, a social scientist seeks to understand a culture or a tribe via immersion and observation without complete ...
This job exmaines qualitative vs. quanitative research.