This essay aims to cover two main focus points. The first section of this essay will take an in depth look at the major differences between two research methods – Qualitative and Quantitative. I will explore when and why they are used for specific types of research and how they apply to some types of work more effectively. The second area for this essay will be based around the research question- what factors contribute to you feeling anxious during sport or exercise? I will then go on to show that the best method to use to analyse this will be by using qualitative research, and then how it can be applied to it to extract all relevant information from it.
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
The qualitative and quantitative research methods are divided by many fundamental differences. You could suggest that these two research methods represent the two different ends of a linear spectrum. Qualitative research looks to deal with the in depth, word based side of research whereas on the other end of the spectrum quantitative research works predominantly with number based research and statistics. Birley and Moreland (1998) support this by saying that “the two methodologies reflect various paradigms and that the theoretical model that each method uses to conduct the research come from different areas”.
Qualitative research involves the consideration of emotions and thought processes concerning certain situations, whilst quantitative data collection sets about using statistics and numbers to determine the results (Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Professions). In addition, qualitative research gives a more detailed view of a situation compared to quantitative, which only collects discrete data.
However, due to the nature of both types of research they tend to lend themselves to contrasting subject areas. Quantitative research is likely to be used when analysing large amounts of numerical data as it converts the data into statistics, in contrast, qualitative research will be used in data that cannot be summarised with numbers and instead has to be categorised. For instance, it would be more beneficial to either use interviews or a focus group to gather information (Kerr and Grange, 2010) to conduct research into reasons behind a football team’s aggression. Kerr and Granges argue that qualitative research method allows them to gain a greater understanding of the reasons that the footballers gave for their aggression, because aggression is a personal issue, it cannot easily be quantified, for example one players’ “level 10” might be another’s “level 5”.
In the last two paragraphs I have touched upon a few of the basic methods of data collection in the two different methodologies. A more in depth look shows how the data collection methods of the two transpose themselves into qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative research relies on the researcher being interactive with the athlete so they often use...