Research & Topics

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research*

Quantitative Research

  • Focuses on establishing cause and effect relationships through testing a specific hypothesis and reporting the results in statistical terms.
  • Can be experimental or non-experimental, also referred to as observational.

Qualitative Research

  • Exploratory; uses an interpretive, naturalistic approach that focuses on how individuals or groups view and understand their surroundings and construct meaning out of their experiences.
  • Investigates the why and how of decision-making
  • Data are reported using narrative terms; not displayed mathematically in tables or graphs. For example, focus group participants reported, They checked the inside of my cheeks and pulled out my tongue and felt my neck. They didn’t tell me what they were doing.

Guide to Reading Research Articles, Quantitative vs Qualitative