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Quantitative Versus Qualitative Research Essay

1263 words - 6 pages

Introduction

This paper will compare and contrast the expectations by Northcentral University for both the qualitative and quantitative approaches to analyzing data based on the NCU Template Applied Degree 2013 Concept Paper Template document. Also discussed will be why the qualitative approach was chosen over the quantitative style of research for this paper. Finally, this paper will document and discuss the Best Practices suggestions for the qualitative research approach.
Comparison of the Qualitative and Quantitative Approach
The dissertation process at Northcentral University requires that students choose to conduct their research using qualitative, quantitative or mixed method ...view middle of the document...

In contrast, the qualitative approach includes open-ended questions. This information is important in developing the Research Methods section of the concept paper under Measurement and the research questions must also be aligned with the problem statement as well.
Whereas quantitative research makes use of random sampling, qualitative research is selective with regard to who responds, as the researcher chooses whom he will interview as part of the research process. In addition, the sample size is also smaller, in most cases, when conducting qualitative research versus a quantitative approach. Analysis is also different as quantitative research, again, makes use of statistical analysis versus thematic analysis with qualitative research. Regarding applicability to other settings, quantitative research involves generalizability versus transferability associated with qualitative research (Kisely & Kendall, 2011). This information would also apply to the Research Method section of the concept paper.
Another difference is the type of software that is used to analyze the data. While quantitative research requires the use of such programs as SPSS, SAS and Stata, programs such as NVivo can be used to analyze qualitative data (Kisely & Kendall, 2011). Also, with regard to data quality, while quantitative data is measured by internal and external validity as well as reliability, qualitative data is measured by such elements as trustworthiness, triangulation, and the Hawthorne Effect (Kisely & Kendall, 2011). The Hawthorne Effect is the tendency of a research subject to perform better because he is being watched. Triangulation is the use of more than one method to check the results. Methodological triangulation would involve more than one method to gather the data, including interviews, observations and questionnaires in the case of qualitative research. This information would also fall under the category of Measurement as well under the main heading of Research Method in the Concept Paper.
Additional topics that should be considered in deciding on a research method include ethical issues related to conflict of interest and sources of funding, which are common concerns with quantitative research (Kisely & Kendall, 2011). In contrast, reflexivity is a common concern with qualitative research (Kisely & Kendall, 2011). Reflexivity refers to the cause and effect relationship associated with the data. What this means is that the researcher might not correctly identify the cause and effect relationship due to other factors that he may not have considered that affect the outcome of the study. This information should be considered in developing the Research Methods section of the concept paper.
Another difference is the fact that hypotheses are used for quantitative, but not qualitative research. Hypotheses are testable and may be either proven or disproven. This information falls under the Hypothesis heading.
With regard to similarities, it...

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