Traditionally, there are different approaches to the concepts of research. In this respect, quantitative and qualitative researches are among the most popular and widely spread. At the same time, often quantitative and qualitative researches are used in similar cases and the consequences may be quite different. The reason is that despite certain similarities quantitative and qualitative researches significantly differ from each other.
To put it more precisely, quantitative research implies the explanation of cause-effect relationships and studies a small number of variables. As a rule, quantitative research uses numerical data. This is why it tends to use more statistics than qualitative research. Basically, it is the result of the nature of quantitative research, since, unlike qualitative research, it tends to be more objective and pure statistics is the basis for that objectivity. In fact, statistics make the conclusions of the quantitative research unarguable since it permits to clearly reveal cause-effect relationships.
On the other hand, qualitative research is characterized by a higher degree of subjectivity basically because it seeks to understand why the things happen the way they do on the basis of a profound analysis of a case. Furthermore, the subjectivity of the qualitative research may be explained by the fact that it is a context-based research that implies that the research is focused on the uniqueness of each individual and setting, unlike quantitative research which, in stark contrast, is focused on the analysis of the common data reflected in the form of statistics.
Thus, a quantitative research is more applicable for general research of some trends or cases, while the qualitative research is more applicable for individual cases and their profound research.
Measurements in Research
Measurements are extremely important for researches. Naturally, there are different measurement scales which vary from each other and possess their unique characteristics.
First of all, it is worthy to mention the nominal scale which traditionally uses numbers in order to label, classify or categorize data. As a result, numbers play the defining role as the main tool of measurement that naturally, deprives a researcher of the possibility to distinguish individual characteristics of a researched object or objects. It is worthy to use when certain classification into certain number of categories is needed.
Also, there is the ordinal scale which focuses on the observations that are ordered on the basis of their magnitude or size. As a result, the cornerstone of this measurement scale is the concept of ‘more than’ or ‘less than’. It is recommended to use when the qualitative comparison of researched objects is needed.
Furthermore, there is the interval scale which properties are similar to that of the ordinal scale. The remarkable characteristic of the interval scale is that its properties have equal intervals between the points of the scale. In such a way, these equal intervals contribute to the application of the interval scale when the research of qualities of certain objects is needed at different stages or points.
Finally, the ratio scale is another form of the interval scale but it is even more perfected since it also has the absolute zero. The latter fact makes the ratio scale particularly significant and more reliable since in addition to the advantages of the interval scale the measurement has the concrete starting point to start from. As a result, the results of the measurement based on the ratio scale may be considered the most robust of the scales discussed above. If you need help with any of these researches – click here.