What are the differences between a quantitative and qualitative research study?

What are the differences between a quantitative and qualitative research study?
The initial and most recognizable difference in qualitative and quantitative research studies is in the type of data they both provide. Quantitative studies provide numerical and statistical data, while qualitative research studies provide observations and experiences. There are also stark differences in every major element of both research studies such as subject sampling, methodology, and data analysis.
In order to obtain the data required for both quantitative and qualitative research studies, the subject samples, or participants, must be determined. For qualitative research, the subjects are carefully and deliberately chosen. The researchers may either select one person or many. “When sampling, qualitative researchers consider the comparisons and distinctions needed to answer their research questions. The individuals sampled may have shared and differing characteristics with each other”(Forister & Blessing, 2020, p. 114). Hence, it is about the quality of the information needed for their research. Comparatively, in quantitative research the participant group is chosen by utilizing generalization to collect a random population sampling which assists the researchers in finding answers for their population (Forister & Blessing, 2020).
Methodology is how the data is gathered by the researchers for use in their study. Having opposite methods sets the tone to have contrasted findings and contributions to their respective studies. In qualitative research studies the methods used to obtain data are analysis of artifacts, documents, and cultural records, direct observations, and unstructured interviews with open ended questions (McLeod, 2019). In contrast, for quantitative research studies the methods are centered around gathering numerical data to put into categories, order, rank with experiments, controlled observations, and questionnaires, such as a rating scale or closed questions (McLeod, 2019). Quantitative searches for differences in groups, variable relationships, and casual explanations versus the qualitative process of exploring social settings to seek and describe meaning (Forister & Blessing, 2020). In this stage of the quantitative process, it includes utilization of pre-experimental, experimental, and quasi-experimental designs to obtain their statistical-based data (Forister & Blessing, 2020).
The process by which researchers in both qualitative and quantitative analyze data varies as well. For qualitative studies, the researchers will utilize inductive and interpretive reasoning. Unlike in a quantitative study where a hypothesis is formed prior to obtaining the data, the hypothesis here evolves as the study does. Inductive and interpretive reasoning is applied to answer the research questions with a few methods, namely content analysis, narrative analysis, and discursive analysis (Forister & Blessing, 2020). In quantitative research studies, the researchers then summarize the data they have received to develop statistics, describe patterns, relationships, and look for connections in the data (McLeod, 2019). This is further separated into two different types of statistical analysis processes descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. Descriptive analysis aids in summarizing data and inferential statistics identifies the substantial differences in the groups of data (McLeod, 2019).
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