EDUCATION

A Review Of Methods: Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research

Dissertation research is an important aspect of graduate studies that requires careful consideration of the research methodology. The choice of research methodology depends on the research question, design, and objectives. 

Research methodology is the systematic and structured approach to investigating a specific topic or problem. It involves the methods, techniques, and procedures used to collect, analyse, and interpret data scientifically or systematically. 

The methodology employed in research is critical to ensure the findings’ reliability, validity, and generaliSability. The choice of research methodology depends on the research question, the nature of the data, and the type of analysis required to address the research problem. 

Types Of Dissertation Research Methods

Two main dissertation research methods by Essays.UK are qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research is an exploratory research methodology focusing on understanding the social phenomenon from the participants’ perspective. This methodology is characterised by its inductive nature, which seeks to develop theories from the data collected rather than testing pre-existing theories.

Qualitative research methods include interviews, focus groups, case studies, and observations.

Quantitative research, on the other hand, is a research methodology that focuses on collecting and analysing numerical data. This methodology is characterised by its deductive nature, which seeks to test pre-existing theories or hypotheses. 

Quantitative research methods include surveys, experiments, and quasi-experiments.

Basic Difference Between Both Research Methods

One of the key differences between qualitative and quantitative research is the approach to data analysis. 

  1. Approach To Data Analysis

Qualitative data analysis involves categorising data into themes, then used to develop a theory or understanding of the research question. Quantitative data analysis, on the other hand, involves using statistical techniques to analyse the data and test the hypotheses.

  1. Sample Size

Another difference between the two research methods is the sample size. Qualitative research typically involves a smaller sample size, emphasising in-depth analysis of a few cases rather than generalising results. 

Quantitative research, on the other hand, typically involves a larger sample size, emphasising generalising results to a larger population.

  1. Exploring Complex Social Phenomena,

Qualitative research is useful in exploring complex social phenomena, as it allows for a deeper understanding of the experiences and perspectives of the participants. It is also useful in generating new theories and hypotheses. Quantitative research, on the other hand, is useful in testing pre-existing theories and hypotheses and in generalising results to a larger population.

Limitations Of Dissertation Research Methods

Students need clarification regarding primary and secondary research dissertations. The following are some limitations:

  1. Bias And Subjectivity

One limitation of qualitative research is the potential for researcher bias and subjectivity. Data interpretation depends on the researcher’s perspectives, experiences, and assumptions. Quantitative research, on the other hand, is considered more objective, as the analysis is based on statistical techniques.

  1.  Potential For Low Reliability

Another area for improvement of qualitative research is the potential for low reliability and validity. Reliability refers to the consistency of results, while validity refers to the accuracy of the results in measuring what it intends to measure. 

Qualitative research is more prone to low reliability and validity due to the subjective nature of data collection and analysis.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the choice of research methodology in dissertation research depends on the research question, design, and objectives. Qualitative research is useful in exploring complex social phenomena, while quantitative research is useful in testing pre-existing theories and hypotheses. 

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