Statistics

Do you believe that the choice of research method is simply based upon the type of information you wish to collect or do differe

Qualitative on the other hand is better when the researcher wants to describe, understand or explore phenomena. Therefore, there is a great deal more to research than just the answering of questions or testing hypothesis. This paper will largely discuss the choice of research methods and the methods themselves in light of their compatibility with social reality. There are two methods used by researchers to gather the required information or test hypothesis: quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative is more positivistic and deductive with qualitative being phenomenological and inductive. Qualitative is more of a holistic approach while the other is particularistic (Bryman Bell, 2011). Qualitative is discovery and process oriented and explanatory while quantitative is verification and outcome oriented and confirmatory. Quantitative Method This is a method which offers a chance for statistical analysis as data is provided as measurements or counts. This method is credited for being quite objective as the research follows laid down procedures as well as analysis. There are also procedures that dictate how a researcher is to report their findings. This method is mostly used where comparison of variables is of essence. Statistics form the basis of analysis where meaning is attached to results that are in form of numbers (Blankie, 1993). The results, findings or conclusions are standardised data and numerical in form. A researcher employing quantitative methods starts by observing or asking questions through interviews or questionnaires. The questions asked should not demand for open answers but rather fixed ones. The second step is tabulation of results of the observation and questionnaires. Then data collected is analysed and lastly conclusions are made on whether the hypothesis is true or not and whether the fundamental question of the research has been answered. Qualitative Methods This method applies where quantitative method may not obtain the required insights. It is also more than just non-numerical research. The data collected is nonbiased and mostly on natural occurrences and their interaction with the project’s subject (May, 2002). Due to the aim of describing quality, words are used in place of numbers. Here structured interviews as well as unstructured ones are utilised. It is however important to note that the results of qualitative research are usually generalisations of observations made unlike the specific ones of the quantitative research. The researcher starts by observing and asking open ended questions. Recording is then made and there after results interpreted. More time is spent on further observations and questioning where observation and recording take place again. Theorisation is then done after which final conclusions are drawn. Epistemological stance denotes one’s assumptions regarding the world around them. This assumptions guide researches and influence how researchers work with the collected data (Blankie, 1993). In this respect there are two separate extremes one whereby the researcher takes a disjointed relationship with data found and the other is where the researcher and their data are one and the same thing. The former extreme is more objective and the researcher aims at uncovering the truth. The latter extreme is at times regarded as relativistic as researchers believe that meaning is observer

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