Qualitative Research or Quantitative Research Essay

Both qualitative and quantitative research methods have their specific qualities which make them utile to a research worker. nevertheless in the class of this short essay I will explicate why. for several grounds. qualitative research is better. As both methods operate within different premises. it is of import to stem unfavorable judgment for each method’s several theoretical base in order to adequately judge them. In the class of this essay I will foreground each method’s theoretical premises and so I will measure each method by indicating out their positive and negative factors.

The implicit in premise behind qualitative research is that the full topic needs to be examined in order to understand the phenomenon. Quantitative research nevertheless. topographic points importance in roll uping and analysing informations from parts of a tendency and in so making. can lose of import facets which could take to a complete apprehension of the whole phenomenon.

‘There’s no such thing as qualitative informations. Everything is either 1 or 0? ( Fred Kerlinger: 1999 ) Unlike quantitative research. there is no overarching model for how qualitative research should be conducted ; instead each type of qualitative research is guided by the peculiar philosophical stances that are taken in relation by the research to each phenomenon ( Miles & A ; Huberman: 1994. p. 40 ) This enables qualitative research to be more involved with the topic at manus whereas quantitative research has the same regulations which it applies to every topic affair. therefore doing it easier to overlook of import grounds.

As the research worker utilizing qualitative methods becomes wholly immersed in the informations aggregation stage of the undertaking. he himself really going the information aggregation tool as opposed to the questionnaires and equipment used by quantitative research workers. it allows him to derive a better apprehension of the capable affair as a whole and detect the topic in its ain environment: Human behavior is significantly influenced by the scene in which it occurs ; therefore one must analyze that behavior in state of affairss. The physical scene ¬e. g. . agendas. infinite. wage. and wagess ¬and the internalized impressions of norms. traditions. functions. and values are important contextual variables. Research must be conducted in the scene where all the contextual variables are runing. ( Marshall & A ; Rossman: 1980 ) Quantitative research neglects these valuable contextual variables as most of the work is done in a research lab with the research worker utilizing the rules of nonpartisanship and an nonsubjective portraiture of the topic.

In decision. qualitative research is better than quantitative research because it places accent upon the topic itself by analyzing it in an in-depth mode and going involved with it on a personal degree. Quantitative research keeps a degree of nonpartisanship with the capable affair therefore doing it neglect of import contextual factors important to the research itself.

1. Using British Election Study informations for illustration. why is it debatable to make quantitative research on cultural minorities? It is debatable to make quantitative research on cultural minorities because the standard divergence is so little. therefore the observations are spread out over a really little sample which would non accurately represent the full cultural group. There is such a little valid per centum that subjects would necessitate to be targeted as they are improbable to be caught during random sampling.

2. Supplying either conjectural and/or published illustrations. how accurate is it to label content analysis as a quantitative method? It is rather accurate to label content analysis as a quantitative method for several grounds. The comparings of their theoretical forms are legion and therefore it has more in common with quantitative than qualitative methods. In the class of this short essay I will explicate why it is accurate to label content analysis as a quantitative method by utilizing an illustration of research using content analysis and indicating out the similarities between the two.

Contented analysis has been described as: ’Any technique for doing illations by objectively and consistently placing specified features of messages’ ( Holsti: 1969 p. 14 ) Compare this with a definition of quantitative research: ’The purpose is to sort characteristics. number them. and build statistical theoretical accounts in an effort to explicate what is observed. It is nonsubjective – seeks precise measuring & A ; analysis of mark constructs. ’ ( Miles & A ; Huberman: 1994. p. 40 ) Both of these definitions contain the term aim. which shows that both of the methods portion the nucleus facet of non-interference with topics: ’Content analysis is frequently referred to as an unnoticeable method ‘ ( Bryman: 2008. p. 289 ) This cardinal construct lies at the bosom of both content analysis and quantitative research methods. it is an obvious similarity.

In Shephard’s survey of the kineticss between the party. campaigners and constituencies he used content analysis on party cusps to descry repeating tendencies. His method ( content analysis ) bears a dramatic resemblance to quantitative research. for illustration both methods begin with hypotheses and theories. Shephard taking to inquire whether accent in cusps matches the profile of the components. He so made two hypotheses saying that -the higher the unemployment rate the higher the accent on occupations and occupation creative activity and the higher the place ownership. the higher the accent on involvement rates and mortgages. Quantitative research methods besides start off with hypotheses and theories ; therefore it is clear to see that content analysis could be labelled quantitative due to this fact.

Furthermore. both methods of research have a high degree of transparence because they are both extremely structured and systematic in their attack. Shephard stated that to carry on his analysis ‘objectively and systematically’ ( two quantitative characteristics ) that he had to place his sample. sample period. text/images and what words and images to number. This shows that both content analysis and quantitative research portion ‘epistemologically grounded beliefs about what constitutes acceptable knowledge’ ( Bryman: 2008. p. 155 ) In decision. it is accurate to label content analysis as a quantitative method due to the fact that it portions many characteristics in common with quantitative research. These include. keeping objectiveness during the survey. transparence and a systematic attack to research. These characteristics indicate that content analysis is grounded in the same theoretical procedures and doctrine as quantitative research.

3. Supplying illustrations of focal point group research from the literature. discourse the advantages and disadvantages of focal point groups.

Focus groups are a extremely utile method of informations aggregation but they have many advantages and disadvantages. I will discourse the advantages and disadvantages of focal point groups in this essay and besides see real-life illustrations of focal point group research to exemplify this.

Focus groups can supply an penetration into the manner in which people organize and interpret cognition every bit good as how people construe information. This is particularly utile in the survey of audience reception- how audiences receive different sorts of telecasting and wireless programmes. etc. Such a survey was conducted by Morley in 1980 into how Nationwide. a popular telecasting programme at the clip. was received by specific groups of people. He noticed that different groups had different readings of the programmes which they had watched. which indicated that the significance of the programme was based in the manner it was watched and interpreted non in the programme itself. ( Bryman: 2008. 475 ) This provides more information that a simple interview because the interviewee has the pick to react to fellow participants and argue with them. taking the research worker to derive a greater penetration into why they hold such beliefs and how strongly they feel about them.

Another advantage of focal point groups is that they can supply a more unfastened environment to react to inquiries by the manner in which they are selected prior to the event. For illustration. Kitzinger notes in her research on HIV that any efforts at treatments about hazards for cheery work forces were blocked out by strong homophobic clamoring amongst homophobic work forces. ( Kitzinger: 1994b in Bloor. et Al: 2001. p. 20 ) Therefore focal point groups dwelling of specific groups such as male cocottes. retirement nine members. etc. provided a more relaxed environment in which positions could be openly discussed without fright of being criticised for one’s beliefs. In add-on to this. organizing groups dwelling of merely HIV positive people meant that revelation of a potentially stigmatising position could be overcome. ( Bloor: 2001 p. 23 ) However focal point groups besides have their disadvantages. the most outstanding one being the function of the research worker within the discussion- the manner in which the focal point group is designed. the participants selected to take portion. where the meeting takes topographic point. how the inquiries are worded and delivered and who the provoker is may impact the responses which are obtained.

This raises the inquiry over the cogency of the consequences as the research worker has less control over a focal point group than he would over a one on one interview with respondents perchance speaking amongst themselves on irrelevant issues. or the simple fact that they may acquire bored or have personality issues with other members of the group. ( Walvis: 2003 p. 405 ) Another disadvantage of focal point groups is the inclination of research workers to ( either consciously or subconsciously ) choice groups so that they align with pre-determined beliefs about a topic. One celebrated illustration of this was when Coca-Cola launched ‘New Coke’ in 1985 despite the fact that the focal point groups had made it explicit that they would non wish to see the traditional coke removed from the shelves. ( Pendergast: 1993 and Greising: 1998 )

The taste-tests nevertheless had proved positive. but they had non been asked the critical inquiry about how they would experience if traditional coke was removed from the shelves. this positive response was more in line with how the CEO of Coca-Cola felt about the merchandise and it was launched based on the dorsum of ill conducted focal point groups. The subsequent merchandise was a monolithic failure and lost Coca-Cola a big portion of the market ; it was obvious that Coca-Cola had spent excessively much clip and money on the program to disregard it on the consequences from focus group research at the last minute.

One concluding disadvantage of focal point groups is their limited spread of positions ; Morgan ( 1998 ) suggests that the mean size of a group should be around six to ten people. This clearly can non be representative of the population as a whole- Stephen Fisher and Robert Andersen ( 2005 ) province that in order to hold a representative sample for one million people you would necessitate. with a border of mistake of 5 % . 384 participants.


•Bloor. M. et Al. ( 2001 ) Focus Groups in Social Research ( London: Sage ) .

•Bryman. A. ( 2008 ) Social Research Methods ( 2nd Ed. ) ( Oxford: Oxford University Press ) .

•Greising. D. ( 1998 ) I’d Like the World to Buy a Coke: The Life and Leadership of Robert Goizueta ( New York: Wiley ) •Holsti. O. R ( 1969 ) Content
Analysis for the Social Sciences and Humanities ( Reading. Mass. : Addison-Wesley ) •Kerlinger. F. Foundations of Behavioural Research ( Nova York: Holt. Rinehart and Winston 1965 ) •Marshall. C. . & A ; Rossman. G. ( 1980 ) . Planing qualitative research. Newbury Park. Calcium: Sage.

•Miles & A ; Huberman ( 1994. p. 40 ) . Qualitative Data Analysis•Pendergast. M. ( 1993 ) For God. Country and Coca-Cola: The Unauthorized history of the World’s Most Popular Soft Drink ( London: Weidenfeld & A ; Nicholson ) •Shephard. M. ( 2007 ) ‘Multiple Audiences. Multiple Messages? An Exploration of the Dynamics between the Party. the Candidates and the Various Constituencies’ . Journal of Elections. Public Opinion and Parties•Walvis. T. H ( 2003 ) . “Avoiding advertisement research catastrophe: Ad and the uncertainness principle” . Journal of Brand Management. Vol. 10. No. 6


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