From there, the theory is tested based on exposure and non-exposure, results are observed, and the theory of the disease is rejected or not rejected: So why should there be a limit to our understanding based on to one type of reasoning over the other?
The second set of difference between qualitative and quantitative research can be summed up as context, values, and involvement. In the quantitative camp, research is supposed to be conducted independent of context, be free of societal or cultural values, and the researcher is detached from, or not involved, in the process.
In the qualitative camp the research is said to be context dependent, societal and cultural values are present and explicitly stated, and the researcher is involved in the process. However, all research has a context. Quantitative research can attempt to control for this by limiting the context through controlling variables but in some quantitative techniques, such as developmental studies, this is not possible so that the context of the research becomes more important.
Qualitative research does not attempt to control for context and it is through the context of the research that the research gains value, however, qualitative research can not always be said to happen in naturalistic setting, e. On the topic of societal and cultural values, no research is value free.
Where quantitative research has learned from qualitative research is that these things are present and need to be accounted for in the way research is conducted. In fact, there has been a movement in health research to publically register randomised controlled trials before they begin, so that the procedure, influences, and the veracity of the results can be publically determined.
Equally, qualitative and quantitative researchers are deeply involved in their own research. It is more a matter of when this occurs. For the quantitative researcher their involvement is notionally suspended as the data is collected, i.
But this has more to do with introducing as few biases into the research than a lack of wanting to be involved.
Meanwhile, the qualitative researcher is notionally involved the whole way through their research but it is not necessarily the case in large projects where the researcher may not be involved in all or any interviews. The third group of differences put forward are that qualitative research uses words as the data, thematic analysis of the data, and has few participants whereas quantitative research uses numbers as the data, statistical analysis, and has many participants. Again, on the surface, this appears true but with a little digging the distinction is difficult to maintain.
Quantitative studies can have one participant, i. On the data and analysis side, the distinction is a matter of precision rather than use of different data and analysis. If the research requires a high degree of precision, then numbers and statistical analysis may be the requirement.
However, if the degree of precision is not as important and the views of the participants are of more value, then the use of words and thematic analysis, or another qualitative analysis technique, are more useful. Also, where the subject being studied is too complex to reduce it to quantitative data, then it is better to allow that complexity to stand and to analyse the data in a qualitative manner.
All this is true whether the research technique employed was primarily qualitative or quantitative. There is one common error that is made by both camps and it has been alluded to in the previous sections without spelling it out in detail: Both camps assume that there is only one facet to the other.
In other words, the qualitative camp appear to assume that there is one, stereotypical quantitative design and the quantitative side appear to assume that there is one, stereotypical qualitative design. However, both camps have a number of research designs at their disposal Figure 2.
Furthermore, a research objective, purpose, or question is normally stated in a way that is independent of the research method employed. Surely the better strategy is to decide where you want to go and then decide which is the best way to get there? This is not to say that a single person should be or can be an expert in all areas of research, or will not have a preference for certain types of research. Also, a research project may require more than one research design to satisfy the research question or questions being asked.
Such a realisation could lead to greater co-operation between researchers and more comprehensive results being obtained. This common error is also present in the assumption, largely health research arena, that there is one hierarchy of evidence that will satisfy all research questions. Normally the hierarchy is stated as meta-analysis at the top of the hierarchy, followed by randomised controlled trails, and so on Table 1.
The assumption being that methods further up the hierarchy are better and produce better results than those at the bottom. The researcher tries to find meta-analysis papers, randomised controlled trail papers and so on to answer the question. Researchers and funding bodies need to be more flexible in their understanding of the appropriateness of a research design for a particular research question and whether that question is worth asking and investigating.
Although this paper argues that qualitative and quantitative research are far more similar than they are different, that is not to say that there are no differences. All research designs have their strengths and weaknesses and it is up to the researcher to be aware of those strengths and weaknesses.
Finally, one of the major reasons for the continuing divide between qualitative and quantitative researchers is that qualitative and quantitative research are still taught as being fundamentally different. Crowe M, Sheppard L. Qualitative and quantitative research designs are more similar than different. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: Skip to main content. Article Title Qualitative and quantitative research designs are more similar than different.
Research Methodology Research methodology is most often described as the overall philosophy underpinning research, whereas research methods are the practical guidelines or techniques used to produce research.
Context, Values, and Involvement The second set of difference between qualitative and quantitative research can be summed up as context, values, and involvement. Positivism and paradigm dominance in consumer research: Toward critical pluralism and rapprochement. Against the quantitative-qualitative incompatibility thesis or dogmas die hard. Social research in changing social conditions. The SAGE handbook of social research methods. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy.
Stanford University; Fall No problem, save it as a course and come back to it later. Descriptive research design is a scientific method which involves observing and describing the behavior of a subject without influencing it in any way. Many scientific disciplines, especially social science and psychology, use this method to obtain a general overview of the subject. Some subjects cannot be observed in any other way; for example, a social case study of an individual subject is a descriptive research design and allows observation without affecting normal behavior.
It is also useful where it is not possible to test and measure the large number of samples needed for more quantitative types of experimentation. These types of experiments are often used by anthropologists, psychologists and social scientists to observe natural behaviors without affecting them in any way.
It is also used by market researchers to judge the habits of customers, or by companies wishing to judge the morale of staff. The results from a descriptive research can in no way be used as a definitive answer or to disprove a hypothesis but, if the limitations are understood, they can still be a useful tool in many areas of scientific research.
The subject is being observed in a completely natural and unchanged natural environment. A good example of this would be an anthropologist who wanted to study a tribe without affecting their normal behavior in any way.
True experiments , whilst giving analyzable data, often adversely influence the normal behavior of the subject. Descriptive research is often used as a pre-cursor to quantitative research designs, the general overview giving some valuable pointers as to what variables are worth testing quantitatively.
Quantitative experiments are often expensive and time-consuming so it is often good sense to get an idea of what hypotheses are worth testing. Because there are no variables manipulated , there is no way to statistically analyze the results. In addition, the results of observational studies are not repeatable , and so there can be no replication of the experiment and reviewing of the results. Descriptive research design is a valid method for researching specific subjects and as a precursor to more quantitative studies.
Whilst there are some valid concerns about the statistical validity , as long as the limitations are understood by the researcher, this type of study is an invaluable scientific tool. Whilst the results are always open to question and to different interpretations, there is no doubt that they are preferable to performing no research at all.
Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Sep 26, Retrieved Sep 10, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.
Descriptive research design is a valid method for researching specific subjects and as a precursor to more quantitative studies. Whilst there are some valid concerns about the statistical validity, as long as the limitations are understood by the researcher, this type of study is an invaluable scientific tool.
descriptive designs typically are an eclectic but reasonable combination of sampling, and data collection, analysis, and re-presentation techniques. Qualitative descriptive study is the method of choice when straight descrip-.
Descriptive research is a study designed to depict the participants in an accurate way. More simply put, descriptive research is all about describing people who take part in the study. More simply put, descriptive research is all . Chapter 11 Descriptive and interpretive approaches to qualitative research Robert Elliott and Ladislav Timulak Qualitative research methods today are a diverse set, encompassing approaches such as.
Supplement for Chapter 14 Qualitative Descriptive Studies M Qualitative descrip-tive designs tend to be eclectic methodologically and are based on the general premises of constructivist inquiry. As an example, there are many qualitative descriptive studies in the 2 Supplement for Chapter 14 Qualitative Descriptive Studies Sandelowski. We offer what has never been offer in the world of descriptive qualitative research design. We do it in a very special way because we consider our clients to be.