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Compare And Contrast Qualitative And Quantitative Research Methodologies

2333 words - 9 pages

Life is forever changing and in sport this is no different. Changing social, political, economic and technological contexts are all influenced in sports, it is only through continual research that our understanding and knowledge of sport may be maintained and enhanced (Gratton and Jones 2010).

The term ‘Research’ can consist of different meanings, research enquires can be defined as; a methodical, formal and precise process employed to gain solutions to problems and to discover and interpret new facts and relationships (Waltz and Bausell 1981). The goals of research are to formulate questions and aim to find the answers. Gall, et al. (1996) explain how the immediate goals of research may be categorised as exploration, description, prediction, explanation and action, where they provide a strategy for figuring out which questions to ask and how to find the answers. Researchers can decide the type of research they want to carry out according to which methods would suit their research (Johnson,.et al. 2007)

Research involves inductive and deductive methods (Babbie, 1998). Inductive methods analyse the observed phenomenon and identify the general principles, structures, or processes underlying the phenomenon observed; deductive methods verify the hypothesized principles through observations. The purposes are different: one is to develop explanations, and the other is to test the validity of the explanations (Ary, D 2010)

Research can be divided into two approaches which are qualitative and quantitative research. Aliaga and Gunderson (2000) define quantitative research as “Explaining phenomena by collecting numerical data that are analysed using mathematically based methods.” This is usually done using statistics. Quantitative methodology is a deductive process mostly used when dealing with variables that can be measured into a numerical form which can then be statistically analysed. This usually starts with a hypothesis of previous data collections. As Griffin (1991) cited, “Research conducted from a scientific point of view is well-rooted in the field of communication.” Objective/quantitative research method helps us distinguish and collect reliable data from scientific source, and then obtain scientific results, which can be applied in future research.”
Quantitative data is very controlled and mostly done in a laboratory setting where as qualitative methods are based in 'real life' settings.

Qualitative research is a systematic method of inquiry which follows a scientific in depth method of problem solving deviating in certain directions (Thomas and Nelson 2001).Qualitative methods use non-numerical data and analysis to describe and understand concepts, data collected in qualitative methods use interviews, surveys and focus group and is rich, subjective and descriptive. Qualitative research uses observations, questionnaires, interviews and focus groups to conduct their studies. It is a valuable research method for exploring "data on...

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