Qualitative Research Review

Qualitative Research Review

  • Submitted By: tiff2986
  • Date Submitted: 05/03/2009 10:11 PM
  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 1469
  • Page: 6
  • Views: 960

Psychologists specialise in understanding human behaviour and mental processes (The Australian Psychological Society Ltd, 2009). In order to analyse the human mind effectively, they use the qualitative (descriptive) and quantitative (experimental) research methods. The two methods of measurement are very different in comparison, but can successfully be integrated together to gather the required data. The aim of this paper is to develop an understanding of the difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods by comparing two articles of each of the above.

Neill (2007) notes the aim of qualitative research is to gain meaning by completing a detailed description in the form of words, pictures or objects. It generates non-numerical data. Qualitative researchers mostly are concerned with the way individuals make sense of the world and how they experience events (Willig, 2008). They aim to understand what it is like to experience particular conditions by developing an accurate understanding of what is going on. They become subjectively immersed in the subject matter. Willig (2008) states the objective of qualitative research is to describe and sometimes explain events and experiences without ever predicting results. Research is conducted on people who are within their naturally occurring settings such as home, school or work (Willig, 2008). An example of this research strategy would be an opinion poll to determine who people plan to vote off a reality television series in the next elimination round. Another model of qualitative research would be a patient's description of their pain rather than a measure of pain.

Researcher’s using the quantitative method of research attempt to explain what has been observed by classifying features, counting them, and constructing statistical models (Neill, 2007). The data collected is in the form of mathematical modelling and statistical estimation. Usually researchers’ collect a very large volume of data, which...

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