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Qualitative and Quantitative are both research methods and research data. Qualitative gathers information such as diary accounts, open ended questionnaires, interviews and observations. Disadvantage is that data is usually descriptive data and is harder to analyze. It requires an accurate description of participant responses, for example, sorting responses to open questions and interviews into broad themes. Expert knowledge of an area is necessary to try to interpret qualitative data and great care must be taken when doing so, for example, if looking for symptoms of mental illness (McLeod, S. A. (2008). Advantage of a qualitative research method would be unstructured and group interviews which generate qualitative data through the use of open questions. This allows the respondent to talk in some depth, choosing their own words. This helps the researcher develop a real sense of a person’s understanding of a situation.
Quantitative research gathers data in numerical form which can be put into categories, or in rank order, or measured in units of measurement. This type of data can be used to construct graphs and tables of raw data. Disadvantage is that experimental methods limit the possible ways in which a research participant can react to and express appropriate social behavior. Findings are therefore likely to be context-bound and simply a reflection of the assumptions which the researcher brings to the investigation. Advantage is the relationship between an independent and dependent variable is studied in detail. The researcher is more objective about the findings of the research. Quantitative research can be used to test hypotheses in experiments because of its ability to measure data using statistics. (Jones, 2008).
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