Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods

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Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods
PSY 326
Dr. Willow Aureala
March 29, 2011

Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods
There are two types of research methods: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research methods are complex meaningful analyses characterized by processes and meanings that are not measured in terms of mathematical measurements. Quantitative research however, relies and builds on mathematical procedures and methods, such as frequency, quality, amount and statistical procedure. There are unique characteristics which distinguish one research process from the other.
The purpose of research is to answer questions by using a “predefined set of procedures” (Mack, Woodsong, MacQueen,
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Because the data obtained by qualitative and quantitative research methods are different, they must be evaluated differently also.
In order to ensure the quality and establish the trustworthiness of qualitative data, researchers may call upon their peers to evaluate the narrative in order to determine if there are inconsistencies, contradictions, or other instances of researcher bias (researcher proving only that which they choose or anticipate)(Smith & Davis, 2010). Additionally, qualitative researchers also indicate the procedures they used to “validate” data. This process is called confirmability. In addition to confirmability, qualitative researchers are also concerned with credibility. Credibility refers to the accuracy of the study. Because qualitative research is social or human in nature, it is best to allow the subjects of the study determine accuracy. However, quantitative data is evaluated in a different manner.
In order to ensure that quantitative data is obtained from an acceptable instrument, it is necessary to determine the validity and reliability of the instrument being used. It is important to minimize subjectivity in quantitative research. The researcher must ensure that the surveys, questionnaires, and tests, used are not open for interpretation or the results may be skewed. Researchers can verify the usefulness of an instrument through validity and reliability. Validity “refers to the extent to
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