Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

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Research methods are instruments and procedures for carrying out research. Research is any exploration intended to unearth thought-provoking or current facts. The quality of the inquiry findings is determined by the objectivity with which this action is carried out (Walliman, 2011). Walliman describes research methods as a collection of tools used for various types of inquiry, just like the different tools that are used in doing other practical works, for instance, a rake used in dissipating leaves. The broad area of surveys measurements of procedures by administering questions with the primary aim of getting viable responses that aids in the research. These steps are flexible apparatuses, which are capable of producing both qualitative and quantitative data depending on their structure and analysis (MacDonald & Headlam). The researches approaches are exist include emancipatory, feminist, postmodern, quantitative, and qualitative.

This paperwork discusses qualitative and quantitative methods of research highlighting the differences between the two. Despite the differences between them, none of the technique is superior to the other since they are all useful tools in the present day studies. It defines the types of research methods currently in use in the perspective of their antiquity and the way they develop a relationship to each other (Bowles, 2003).The text explores the sign systems that are in involved in the quantitative survey and factors that determine the type of preferred quantization data. It discusses, the methods used when undertaking a qualitative research, the scopes that are involved and platforms for this kind of research. The study covers the analyses and attainment an indulgent of principal reasons, incentives, and opinions of research. Furthermore, it highlights the core values of these research methods. (MacDonald & Headlam)

There is existence between these two critical research methods as portrayed in the discussion. These differences mean that the enquiry approaches have different powers and weaknesses. The qualitative research superiorities itself in the legitimacy, this condemnation has been flattened in affection to its reliability. In contrast, the outcomes of a section of quantitative research have undergone criticism for not being used in the actual world and for streamlining multifaceted concerns to a point where they do not show relevance. The strengths of the quantitative studies include; being easy to reproduce, that is, the establishment of their liability is stress-free. They also encompass complex subject comparisons of variables. Qualitative research on the other hand only studies unique situations in depth. Therefore, they possess conforming challenges in their capability to make a correlation between variables in different locations or to create claims on causality. They, however, claim validity since they take into justification the context in which the research is carried out and hence the researchers have the flexibility to examine their findings (Bowles, 2003).

The quantitative methods are inquiry techniques used for gathering quantifiable data. These data can be classified, stored, and measured (MacDonald & Headlam). They are aimed at with trying to compute data and take a broad view of the outcome of a section of the residents of choice. Experimental design is a primary tool in quantitative research. It involves control of groups with the primary aim of establishing causality that is, finding out how a change in an independent variable X causes a change in a separate variable Y. The experimental design has the following elements; manipulation of an independent variable results observation on the dependent variables and unplanned consignment of subjects to regulator or test groups (Bowles, 2003). Quantitative survey entails different designs. These include the ‘system-system design,’ the ‘client satisfaction surveys,’ the ‘files searches’ and the ‘resource assessment’ (Rubin & Allen).

The single-system design has become part of the schools’ curriculum of social work. Its focus is on a single, perceptible target comportment like a binge consumption or school aversion of behavior. It perceives at the central measurement of the triumph of the intermediation a declining in the recognizable problematic behavior. Recurrent quantities of the form of the performance at a given time are recorded. This information is then graphed as an indication of success, or else of the treatment intrusions. A baseline is established by taking into considerations some measure (Bowles, 2003).

The graph shows that the treatment duration signifies a marked progression on the baseline.

The methods involved in forming quantitative research include; the group of representations, theories and hypotheses, development of mechanisms and procedures for measurement, the collection of pragmatic data, and demonstration and data analysis (Bowles, 2003).

The client satisfaction surveys are used when assessing the degree of client backing for plans and their designs. An extension of logic to engage clients in social graft practice is using this technique in determining personal methods. Questions are sometimes included in determining the level of contentment with the assessment progression. Additional questions allow clients to choose the ideas they deem helpful and those unhelpful.

The file searches is a tool used in the analysis of the client’s files with the aim of establishing consistency of the style used, the treatment and the pattern of the clients’ outcome. For instance, when assessing the number of client periods, the texture of conduct processes, the types of interventions applicable, if the clients should continue with treatment or not. This method of analysis is of substantial help. Resource assessment determines the costs of quantitative research. For example, when evaluating the extent to which assets are allotted on a client-client basis, it is carried out by costing time and the assets consumed to provide a suggestion of whether other treatment steps are extra cost-effective than the rest. To assess the cost-effectiveness, one should poise the dollar worth with a qualitative valuation of the intervention.

Three factors determine the quantitative data exploration chosen. These factors include some variables, the purpose of statistics, and the level of measurement. The type of research questions under study determines the number of variables. A report on quantitative results always starts with a description of the testers and the outcomes using univariate statistic. From this, many complex figures can be performed to find out the relationships between different variables. The level of measurement is the best factor in determining the degree of variables at the maximum levels of measurements once data are collected. These levels of quantities provide detailed information that allows the use of additional commanding statistical procedures.

Qualitative research is primarily exploratory research. The analyses are used to attain an indulgent of principal reasons, motivations, and opinions. They deliver insights into problems and help in developing hypotheses and ideas for possible quantitative exploration. They also unearth trends in judgments and sentiments and dig deeper into the challenge. The data collection methods vary employing semi-structured or structured performances (DeFranzo, 2011)

Qualitative research methods are associated mainly with the estimation of social scopes. They always give results that are opulent and comprehensive, providing ideas and models to enlighten a research. This method is capable of showing how a population feels and what they contemplate. However, it is unable to convey the number of the target population that feel or think in a given direction as in the case of a quantitative survey (MacDonald & Headlam). In the qualitative research, the hypothesis and the theory from the study are all produced from the similar data and hence are chastised onto the same that the investigator had assembled (Bowles, 2003).

Qualitative information cannot be precisely measured or counted because they are always conveyed in words instead of figures. This type of datum is continuously descriptive. However, their fruitfulness and subtlety brand them with abundant insights into social society. A qualitative research depends on the vigilant boundary of the word, the building of variables and concepts, and the scheming of interrelationships existence between the mentioned concepts. Nevertheless, impressions for example happiness, loyalty, and affluence are existent and noticeable even though recording and measuring them id hectic. (Walliman, 2011).

Sarantakos detects three universal platforms in qualitative data exploration. These stages describe the processes under deduction, verification, and induction (Sarantakos, 1994). The first phase is the data reduction. In this scene, collected data are coded and categorized. This supports summarization of the processed statistics to identify the primary issues of the topic of research. Data reduction assists the researcher in making decisions on the extent of collecting data, the means, the data source, methods of analysis to be used, and concluding. The primary goal of data reduction is to identify the central theme that emerges from the research by classifying the collected information. The second stage is data organization. This process deals withdraw together information about specific points and topics and handing over the outcomes in a text. The third step is interpretation. This interpretation takes into account the identification trends, patterns, and explanations leading to drawing conclusions that are capable of being tested via more data collection, organization, reduction, and interpretation (Sarantakos, 1994)

The qualitative methods involve semi-structured interviews, group focus, supervision, observation, and reflecting teams and file searches. Semi-structured interviews are potent tools in the assessment of a conversation. The qualitative interviews permit the interviewee to reflect on the agendas raised and provide thoughtful answers on the performance of the interviewer. This method empowers the clients by allowing them to offer opinions on their understanding of treatment (MacDonald & Headlam). Qualitative data scrutiny purposes to outline the richness and complexity of existing experience. This method of analysis includes the familiarities of the researcher, both in advance and through the research.

Developing focus groups are means of conducting group discussion with a group of a client with whom the questioner has to share out with as a group or individually (Rubin & Allen). An appropriate technique allows the interviewee to mirror on and discourse their understandings. The supervision is a method used to weigh the practice employed by social workers. Regular supervision sessions reflect on the training and cases, outcomes and techniques, and make available benchmarking of standardized practices (Bowles, 2003). Supervision entails unswerving observation of practice either using videos or one-way mirrors in everyday practice. File searches are also applicable in qualitative surveys. They provide comments in the file that contains a synopsis of all the cases. (Bowles, 2003).

In conclusion, it is without a doubt that the quantitative methods show a hypothesis of a positive model, which holds behavior, can be elucidated by objective facts. Scheme and composition influence by showing how bias and errors are eliminated. On the other hand, the qualitative methods highlight the expectations of a phenomenological paradigm that there exist socially defined compound realities. The relationship between the two survey methods has been high lightened to show the significant differences in existence between them. These differences indicate the various specific powers and downfalls of the study methods.




Bowles, M. A. (2003). Research for Social Workers, An Introduction to methods 2nd Edition. South Wind Productions, Singapore.

DeFranzo, S. E. (2011, September 16). What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research? Retrieved from SnapSurveys:

MacDonald, S., & Headlam, &. N. (n.d.). Research Methods Handbook; Introductory guide to research methods for social research. Manchester: Centre for Local Economic Strategies, Express Networks • 1 George Leigh Street.

Rubin, & Allen. (n.d.). ‘Secondary analysis’, in Social Work Research and Evaluation. Itasca, Ill.: Peacock Publishers,.

Sarantakos, S. (1994). ‘Trial cohabitation on trial’.

Walliman, N. (2011). RESEACH METHODS – The Basics. New York: Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN.





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