Statistical And Quantitative Research Methods

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Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Jaimee Baird


Lecturer: Claire Ferguson
Thursday 11am – 1pm

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Qualitative and quantitative research methods are two most common approaches used when conducting a research task on a criminological issue. Some studies use both approaches together to further enhance and support their research and information, while others choose to use just one. The decision to use one
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Newman and Benz (1998, 3) explain qualitative methods have the aim of developing a theory explaining what they have witnessed and investigated in their observations. Researchers can collect data already having set proposed and pre-determined questions and asking these questions in an interview setting or allowing the participant to write their answers on a test structured format (Creswell 2003, 17). Another method of research also includes interviews, group or singular, however taking either a more guided or free speech conversation (Tewksbury 2009, 43). Different from question based studies, qualitative researchers also acquire their information in the form of observation. This can occur in two ways, either they openly acknowledge and explain they are observing participants out in the field or observe in secret. This method can be described as a method of immersion (Tewksbury 2009, 54). Quantitative research is most easily defined as being statistical and based entirely around numbers and figures. Quantitative begins with a theory within criminology and the researcher tests and researches into this theory gathering evidence through methods of surveys and experiments to confirm and support the theory (Creswell 2003, 7 and Newman and Benz 1998, 3). Quantitative studies have full control of the variables and can manipulate the data to support their argument or theory. The results of
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