Introduction One of the major claims made regarding qualitative methods is that they diverge from scientific explanation models in terms of the need for hypothesis testing. A scientific hypothesis is based on a background theory, typically assuming the form of a proposition whose validity depends on empirical confirmation.
The generation of models, theories and hypotheses The development of instruments and methods for measurement Experimental control and manipulation of variables Collection of empirical data Modeling and analysis of data Quantitative research is often contrasted with qualitative researchwhich purports to be focused more on discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships, including classifications of types of phenomena and entities, in a manner that does not involve mathematical models.
Although a distinction is commonly drawn between qualitative and quantitative aspects of scientific investigation, it has been argued that the two go hand in hand. Positivist scholars like Comte believed only scientific methods rather than previous spiritual explanations for human behavior could advance.
Quantitative methods are an integral component of the five angles of analysis fostered by the data percolation methodology,  which also includes qualitative methods, reviews of the literature including scholarlyinterviews with experts and computer simulation, and which forms an extension of data triangulation.
Quantitative methods have limitations. Statistical methods are used extensively within fields such as economics, social sciences and biology.
Quantitative research using statistical methods starts with the collection of data, Critique of quantitative and qualitative research on the hypothesis or theory. Usually a big sample of data is collected — this would require verification, validation and recording before the analysis can take place.
Causal relationships are studied by manipulating factors thought to influence the phenomena of interest while controlling other variables relevant to the experimental outcomes. In the field of health, for example, researchers might measure and study the relationship between dietary intake and measurable physiological effects such as weight loss, controlling for other key variables such as exercise.
Quantitatively based opinion surveys are widely used in the media, with statistics such as the proportion of respondents in favor of a position commonly reported. In opinion surveys, respondents are asked a set of structured questions and their responses are tabulated.
In the field of climate science, researchers compile and compare statistics such as temperature or atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. Empirical relationships and associations are also frequently studied by using some form of general linear modelnon-linear model, or by using factor analysis.
A fundamental principle in quantitative research is that correlation does not imply causationalthough some such as Clive Granger suggest that a series of correlations can imply a degree of causality. This principle follows from the fact that it is always possible a spurious relationship exists for variables between which covariance is found in some degree.
Associations may be examined between any combination of continuous and categorical variables using methods of statistics. Measurement[ edit ] Views regarding the role of measurement in quantitative research are somewhat divergent. Measurement is often regarded as being only a means by which observations are expressed numerically in order to investigate causal relations or associations.
However, it has been argued that measurement often plays a more important role in quantitative research. This is because accepting a theory based on results of quantitative data could prove to be a natural phenomenon.
He argued that such abnormalities are interesting when done during the process of obtaining data, as seen below: When measurement departs from theory, it is likely to yield mere numbers, and their very neutrality makes them particularly sterile as a source of remedial suggestions.
But numbers register the departure from theory with an authority and finesse that no qualitative technique can duplicate, and that departure is often enough to start a search Kuhn,p. In classical physics, the theory and definitions which underpin measurement are generally deterministic in nature.
In contrast, probabilistic measurement models known as the Rasch model and Item response theory models are generally employed in the social sciences. Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique for measuring social and psychological attributes and phenomena.
This field is central to much quantitative research that is undertaken within the social sciences. Quantitative research may involve the use of proxies as stand-ins for other quantities that cannot be directly measured. Tree-ring width, for example, is considered a reliable proxy of ambient environmental conditions such as the warmth of growing seasons or amount of rainfall.The reflective and interrogative processes required for developing effective qualitative research questions can give shape and direction to a study in ways that are often underestimated.
Good research questions do not necessarily produce good research, but poorly conceived or constructed questions will likely create problems that affect all subsequent stages of a study.
Volume 2, No. 1, Art. 13 – February The Quantitative/Qualitative Debate and Feminist Research: A Subjective View of Objectivity. Nicole Westmarland. Abstract.
Ethnography (from Greek ἔθνος ethnos "folk, people, nation" and γράφω grapho "I write") is the systematic study of people and cultures. It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study.
An ethnography is a means to represent graphically and in writing the culture of a group. Triangulation in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Can Really Be Mixed 1.
Triangulation In social science triangulation is defined as the mixing of data or methods so that. Feb 07, · How to Write a Critique in Five Paragraphs. A critique is usually written in response to a creative work, such as a novel, a film, poetry, or a painting.
However, critiques are also sometimes assigned for research articles and media items. 4/19/10 1 Analyzing Qualitative Data: With or without software Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Ph.D. Department of Sociology Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA