Discuss the differences between the three major approaches surrounding collection and analysis of data i,e., quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods. As well as, describe the design of scientific inquiry that may go with each method i.e., survey, narrative, phenomenological, ethnographic, grounded theory, or case study and why it would be selected. Then address which method and design you think you would prefer to use to conduct research and why.
Requires 250-300 words each forum.
For this week’s forum post, We discuss the three major approaches surrounding collection and analysis of data. The first of the three approaches are quantitative. Quantitative, represents the method of utilizing numeric data and statistics in communicating the results. The second of the three approaches are qualitative. Qualitative represents the method of gathering data in the form of words and descriptions, such as interviews and focus groups, to communicate the results. The third, and final approach surrounding collection and analysis of data is mixed methods. Mixed methods incorporate both of what the quantitative and qualitative approach focus on. Using both numeric data and personal communication (Todd, Nerlich, McKeown, Clarke, p.2,3)
The quantitative method, involves numeric data and statistics to communicate findings. It emphasizes data, measured objectively, because it cannot be disputed. Polls, questionnaires, and surveys are three methods used in the collection of statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data. The primary purpose of quantitative research is to explain a particular event. By gathering a specific type of data, and generalizing it across an area small or wide. The goal, is to determine the relationships between variables, in that given area. Typically, this type of research is used to create graphs and tables of raw data. (Todd, Nerlich, McKeown, Clarke, p.2,3). This method would involve survey and ethnographic, because both are products of statistical analysis.
The qualitative method, involves gathering data in the form of words and descriptions. It emphasizes to understand the social reality of a given group and cultures as nearly as possible as its participants feel it or live it. The study is conducted in the person or groups natural setting. The goal of the qualitative approach is to understand the “why” behind a particular phenomenon, or behavior, acts the way it does. (Saul McLeon, p.1,2)
This method would involve narrative and case study, because both of those studies involve personal data. Data that is received in the form of words.
The mixed method, combines both of the approaches, that the quantitative and qualitative method focus on. It emphasizes the collection, analysis, and integrating quantitative and qualitative research. The issue with both qualitative and quantitative research, is that there are weaknesses to only using one method at a time. Mixing the methods allows for an offshoot of the weakness. This method allows for the researcher to gain in breadth and depth of understand and corroboration. (CIRT, p.1) This method would include Phenomenological, grounded theory, and all of the other methods included since it is a “mixed” method, because this method is “mixed” technically, all other method results could be included in mixed mythology research methods.
“Overview of Mixed Methods”. CIRT. [date accessed] 17 December, 2018. https://cirt.gcu.edu/research/developmentresources/research_ready/mixed_methods/overview
Saul McLeon. “Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research”. Simplypsychology. 2017. [date accessed] 16 December, 2018.
Zazie Todd, Brigitte Nerlich, Suzanne McKeown, David Clarke. “Mixing Methods in Psychology: The Integration of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Theory and Practice.”. Taylor & Francis Group. 2 August, 2004. [date accessed] 16 December, 2018.
Qualitative research is characterized by its aims, which usually relate to understanding aspects of social life. In general, qualitative data uses words rather then empirical data for analysis ( McCusker, & Gunaydin 5).
Qualitative data is too imprecise for instance in analyzing how many people in a certain group or location contracted a specific disease, whereas qualitative data would be helpful in ascertaining information on the well-being of patients such as their experiences or attitudes while being treated by a healthcare worker in a medical facility. (5-6).
Typical methods of gathering qualitative methods would be having the group being surveyed to answer questions like; ‘what,’ ‘how’ or ‘why’. The information from the information gathered for this part of a survey although qualitative therefore subjective, would help the researcher ascertain the general mood or feelings well-being of said patients. This portion of a study would become very useful for a facility like a hospital that is trying to provide better care for its patients in the future. (6-7).
Qualitative research would be a process of gathering data ascertaining information on patient to by answering survey questions like; ‘how many’ or ‘how much’. Then adding statistical data such as the number of patients who died or how long it took to recover along with the medical protocols followed.
Strengths and weaknesses
The author outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the qualitative and quantitative research but notes the peer-reviewed research can become a debate over the values and strengths of each type of data collection, rather than focusing on the intrinsic values and the need for both systems of data (5-7). For instance, in hospital research, if the research is not curtailed to the overall all well-being of the patients in turn the quantitative data could become askew. In a further example, patients being treated for the same disease in a field hospital with limited comforts such as washroom facilities nearby, or the number of family members available, may not fair as well as a patient being treated for the same illness in a private room with family visiting or the comfort of staying in an air-conditioned room.
The Mixed approach to research has become increasingly recognized, because of the way it encompasses a holistic method, especially when it involves people. Mixed method design of research by default in the above hospital example would be a more dependable way of exploring the research data.
Finally, the qualitative data may offer a valuable understanding of patients in the focus group, while the empirical values would act as a solid foundation in the study, as in involving the types of medications administered and how often.
In conclusion, qualitative research is an objective way of gathering data as compared to quantitative that is more subjective in its method of compiling information. The mixed approach merges the two types of data creating a holistic approach.
McCusker, K. & Gunaydin S. (2014). U.K. Sage Publishers. Vol> 30(7) 537-542.
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