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Difference between qualitattative and quantitative research?

Qualitative and quantitative research are the two main schools of research, and although they are often used in tandem, the benefits and disadvantages of each are hotly debated. Particularly in the social sciences, the merits of both qualitative and quantitative research are fought over, with intense views held on both sides of the argument. It is generally agreed upon, however, that there are some phases of research where one or the other is clearly more useful than the other, and so few people completely dismiss either. Quantitative research is probably the least contentious of the two schools, as it is more closely aligned with what is viewed as the classical scientific paradigm. Quantitative research involves gathering data that is absolute, such as numerical data, so that it can be examined in as unbiased a manner as possible. There are many principles that go along with quantitative research, which help promote its supposed neutrality. Quantitative research generally comes later in a research project, once the scope of the project is well understood.

The main idea behind quantitative research is to be able to separate things easily so that they can be counted and modeled statistically, to remove factors that may distract from the intent of the research. A researcher generally has a very clear idea what is being measured before they start measuring it, and their study is set up with controls and a very clear blueprint. Tools used are intended to minimize any bias, so ideally are machines that collect information, and less ideally would be carefully randomized surveys. The result of quantitative research is a collection of numbers, which can be subjected to statistical analysis to come to results. Remaining separate from the research emotionally is a key aspect of quantitative research, as is removing researcher bias. For things like astronomy or other hard sciences, this means that quantitative research has a very minimal amount of bias at all. For things like sociological data, this means that the majority of bias is hopefully limited to that introduced by the people being studied, which can be somewhat accounted for in models. Quantitative is ideal for testing hypotheses, and for hard sciences trying to answer specific questions. Qualitative research, on the other hand, is a much more subjective form of research, in which the research allows themselves to introduce their own bias to help form a more complete picture. Qualitative research may be necessary in situations where it is unclear what exactly is being looked for in a study, so that the researcher needs to be able to determine what data is important and what isnt. While quantitative research generally knows exactly what its looking for before the research begins, in qualitative research the focus of the study may become more apparent as time progresses. Often the data presented from qualitative research will be much less concrete than pure numbers as data. Instead, qualitative research may yield stories, or pictures, or descriptions of feelings and emotions. The interpretations given by research subjects are given weight in qualitative research,

so there is no seeking to limit their bias. At the same time, researchers tend to become more emotionally attached to qualitative research, and so their own bias may also play heavily into the results. Within the social sciences, there are two opposing schools of thought. One holds that fields like sociology and psychology should attempt to be as rigorous and quantitative as possible, in order to yield results that can be more easily generalized, and in order to sustain the respect of the scientific community. Another holds that these fields benefit from qualitative research, as it allows for a richer study of a subject, and allows for information to be gathered that would otherwise be entirely missed by a quantitative approach. Although attempts have been made in recent years to find a stronger synthesis between the two, the debate rages on, with many social scientists falling sharply on one side or the other. Q2 difference between inductive and deductive research? Deductive approach begins with a general ideas (such as theory, laws, principles) and based on them, you form a specific hypotheses which can be tested in order to support the general ideas. If the hypothesis is supported, you may want to say that the intial (general) idea was indeed correct. On the other hand, inductive approach begins with specific things -- observations of individual cases, for example. Based on the accumulation of such observation, you may want to build a general idea on that observation. Inductive approach is often compared to what detectives are doing. They gather small evidence and information around the criminal place (specific things) and pin down a murderer (theory). The social research (which we learn in the class) often requires the deductive approach rather than inductive approach. One example might be: When computer meditated communication facilities (email for example) were introduced, the researchers initially believed that such media would not carry people's subtle, emotional expressions. This line of thoughts led the researchers to a communication theory -- media richness. The theory says that each medium we, human use, has a certain capacity of conveying information (including factual and emotional one). in a face-to-face communication situation, the communicators may be able to exchange more subtle (not only the fatual information itself) information. Based on the theory of media richness, the researchers made hypotheses that computer-mediatedcommunication media are more suitable for exchanging factual information rather than social or emotional information. They gathered empirical data by doing many experiments, doing surveys and field studies to see if the hypothesis holds the truth. This sort of "general to specific" approach can be identified as "deductive approach."

Scientific research.
Generally, research is understood to follow a certain structural process. Though step order may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following steps are usually part of most formal research, both basic and applied: 1. Observations and Formation of the topic: Consistst of the subject area of ones interest and following that subject area to conduct subject related research. The subject area should not be randomly chosen since it requires reading a vast amount of literature on the topic to determine the gap in the literature the researcher intends to narrow. A keen interest in the chosen subject area is advisable. The research will have to be justified by linking its importance to already existing knowledge about the topic. 2. Hypothesis: A testable prediction which designates the relationship between two or more variables. 3. Conceptual definition: Description of a concept by relating it to other concepts. 4. Operational definition: Details in regards to defining the variables and how they will be measures/assessed in the study. 5. Gathering of data: Consists of identifying a population and selecting samples, gathering information from and/or about these samples by using specific research instruments. The instruments used for data collection must be valid and reliable. 6. Analysis of data: Involves breaking down the individual pieces of data in order to draw conclusions about it. 7. Data Interpretation: This can be represented through tables, figures and pictures, and then described in words. 8. Test, revising of hypothesis 9. Conclusion, reiteration if necessary A common misconception is that a hypothesis will be proven. Generally a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by observing the outcome of an experiment. If the outcome is inconsistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected. However, if the outcome is consistent with the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language is used because researchers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be consistent with the observations. In this sense, a hypothesis can never be proven, but rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually, becoming widely thought of as true. A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified. As the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an accurate prediction. In this case a new hypothesis will arise to challenge the old, and to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions than the old, the new will supplant it. Researchers can also use a null hypothesis, which state no relationship or difference between the independent or dependent variables. A null hypothesis use a sample of all possible people to make a conclusion about the population.[7]