Quantitative research and qualitative research: The quantitative approach and the qualitative approach are research perspectives that seek the production of knowledge through a structured and systematic model of observation, description and analysis of problems in an attempt to offer solutions to various problems .
The quantitative approach obviously refers to the study from the analysis of quantities, that is, it involves a process of numerical study that has to do with statistical foundations. From another point, qualitative research has to do with the non-numerical exploration of data, it is an approach that is more related to subjective and inductive interpretation.
Despite their differences, both approaches make use of the observation of problems and the evaluation of problems (problem statement), establish theoretical assumptions that explain the problem (theoretical framework), analyze these foundations through tests (methodological framework) and, last, they make proposals and final evaluations in accordance with the research carried out (results and conclusions).
As you can see none of these approaches will allow you to avoid anything or dodge a chapter you do not want to do, but you can choose the approach that best suits your needs and skills. We tell you what it is
Continuity, rigor and objectivity are its main characteristics. Data collection is used to test hypotheses (assumptions or probabilities about the nature and explanation of a problem), then perform a numerical measurement to test the hypothesis, analyze the data obtained in a statistical way and formulate the conclusions.
The quantitative approach is a deductive process, each stage leads logically to the next, serves to verify, explain or predict a particular event. It is a very good option to produce objective knowledge, defined, very particularized and verifiable.
Quantitative research puts the emphasis on the research process and not so much on the result. For example: Work is done on the causes of a disease and the researcher assumes that the origin is the intake of certain foods. If after carrying out the data collection and its analysis proves that the cause is not your hypothesis, your work remains equally relevant. This is because the researcher was able to prove that the disease is not related to food, thus opening the field for new jobs and collaborating in the understanding of certain pathologies.
Although quantitative research requires knowledge of statistics, this should not be discouraged. A statistical analysis can be simple or complex depending on the data to be analyzed and the variables to be considered. It is not necessary to be an accomplished mathematician to perform this type of research.
It is based on the non-statistical analysis of data to then formulate proposals for interpretation, it is a more subjective and comprehensive approach to the study of problems. In addition, the analysis starts from the researcher’s judgments, ideas and opinions, although in this sense it is a less rigorous approach, but that does not stop being serious. Subjective does not mean that the researcher can affirm what he wants without foundations, the formulation of the discourse must start from logic and coherence.
Qualitative research tends more towards the expansion and generalization of knowledge and the collection of data to be documentary is much more open, because the researcher can use writings, interviews, graphic or audiovisual material, provided that the relevance is established.
This approach goes from the particular to the general, because from the analysis of a limited amount of data, the researcher can propose concepts that include a complete explanation or description of a phenomenon. A very common case is in literary studies when from the examination of some works catalogs the complete production of a writer, the same with musicians and artists.
The investigative method is more dynamic because there is no standardization in the form of data collection and interpretation, but it can also become a more complex process, because in this type of approach the result is the most important. When dealing with interpretative explorations, the researcher must start from an intuition that needs to be proven, that is, it is not feasible to start a whole system of subjective and evaluative analysis and then indicate that the study proposal has not been achieved.
The researcher starts from an affirmation about the nature of a phenomenon and must get framed that assumption in a theoretical and ideological context that supports their ideas and judgments, and then proceed to verify their assumptions with a methodological design.
WHAT TO CHOOSE ?, IS ONE OF THE APPROACHES BETTER THAN THE OTHER?
The approach to choose will depend on the orientation and purpose of the thesis, if we initially think of a documentary work the approach indicated is the qualitative. If what we want to analyze a particular reality from an objective point of view through verifiable results, the indicated one is the quantitative approach.
In reality, none is better than another, both are a very valuable source to produce knowledge in a serious and systematized way, however you must bear in mind that certain skills are needed.
For the quantitative approach the researcher should be much more methodical, should use basic or more complex statistical knowledge, consider hypotheses and variables. However, being a sequential and deductive work you can more easily establish the phases or stages of your research and more expeditiously check the validity of your proposal, in terms of the analysis of the research problem.
On the other hand, the qualitative approach gives more room for interpretation and the broadening of meanings, favors more the comparison and the generalization of results. The researcher should consider what interpretation, if not properly founded, can lead to dispersion and vagueness, which is why he needs to proceed with discipline and intuition.