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Quantitative Vs Qualitative Research Essay

2048 words - 9 pages

There has always been a discussion as to which method of study was better: quantitative, or qualitative. The quantitative approach focuses more on quantifying data and generalizing results from a sample to a population of interest. The use of quantitative methods is used for general features of a population and to measure the incidence of various views and opinions in a chosen sample. Qualitative methods are used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons and motivations. This type of method provides an insight into the setting of a problem. This can be used to generate ideas for later quantitative research. It is being argued that quantitative criminology is no longer required and this method is dead. To understand why people commit crimes, the best way to conclude this would be to switch to a more qualitative approach. Although this may be true in some cases, I do not completely agree with these two statements. I disagree with the statement about the quantitative approach being “dead,” however, I do agree with the statement about switching to a more qualitative approach to fully understand why people commit crimes. However, incorporating the quantitative approach and qualitative approach into one study will result in a thorough conclusion. This paper will explain the quantitative and qualitative approaches in research, discussing the positive and negative aspects of each approach, along with including how a combination of these approaches in a study will result in the most effective conclusion, and is the best option.
Quantitative approaches work deductively, meaning they start with a theory by starting with a thorough review of the literature. There could be many theories that exist for a given situation, therefore, it would be ideal to review the literature and form a strong theory based upon that research. Quantitative researchers process begins with their theory, from which they form a hypothesis, which then leads to their collection of data to conclude their results (Kierkus, 2014). Quantitative researches tend to set up research designs in order to test their hypothesis to verify that their statements and ideas are reasonable and available to collect data upon. This approach is best at times due to the ability to form a theory before conducting the research, which allows the researchers to focus on specific aspects and observations of their research that can allow for a better conclusion. Spradley (1979), states that quantitative researchers often use a large number of cases to represent their population of interest including randomly selected respondents. With the use of questionnaires and multiple forms of interviews, researchers can obtain information that is directly related to the questions they are attempting to answer (Spradley, 1979). With the use of the quantitative approach, researcher’s findings are descriptive and conclusive. Since these findings are usually conclusive, it is available to use these findings as...

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