Quantitative And Qualitative Approach

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This paper begins with a discussion of quantitative and qualitative paradigms and how it can have an effect on the way research is conducted followed by the researchers own choice of paradigm. Next, the paper offers an opposing view of the philosophical framework chosen. Qualitative approach is used to research the reasons, opinions and motivations. It is seen as exploratory research that could provide insights for the problem at hand. It also allows to find trends and more in-depth knowledge of a problem (Burns, 1997). The methods used for qualitative research also differ in that they use unstructured and semi-structured methods that would garner more knowledge such as focus groups, interviews and observations which are most commonly used.…show more content…
Simply said quantitative approach reduces the information, in this case the data gathered, which is numerical into statistics. It is used to quantify the attitudes, opinions, behaviours and other variable so that the data can be generalized. In order to be able to generalize the sample size has to be large and therefore, in quantitative approach the sample size is large (Burns, 1997). Quantitative approach uses measurable data that uncovers patterns and provide facts in research. The data collection methods used in quantitative approach are more structured such as surveys, polls, etc. The qualitative and quantitative debate has been going on for a long time (Mackenzie & Knipe, 2006) and neither side is winning, as both can be used in a variety of situations depending on what the researcher is trying to achieve in his or her research. The idea of paradigms was largely due to Thomas Kuhn’s (1970) book ‘The structure of scientific revolution’ explaining that paradigm was the entire belief system shared by a certain community (Kuhn, 1970) and University of Southampton (nd.) defies paradigm as a belief system or a theory that guides the way things are done. Although he focused on the theories and methods within these communities. Even though social researchers focused more on the philosophical beliefs and established it as the philosophical position of the…show more content…
Realists also hold that the researcher is separate from the knowledge that is being sought as to minimize the researcher involvement to eliminate researcher bias. Positivists has the most extreme world view of fixed laws and that everything can be reduced to cause and effect, and that using scientific theories can reject or accept them (Balnaves & Caputi, 2001). Post positivists accepts that to some extend the reality cannot be objectively while we are a part of the world and that the natural sciences techniques may not be useful in all the human science research, although they do not reject the concept of positivist reality either (Balnaves & Caputi, 2001). Post positivists considers confidence, how reliable the findings are, and how soundly they predict certain outcomes rather than believing in absolute truth as the positivists do. Most social science research uses qualitative research method or paradigm viewing the world as being constructed by the participants and their experience. Although, quantitative approaches such as post positivism and experimental realism considers the view of subjective reality, therefore, quantitative approaches can and are used in social science research as
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