Qualitative Research Verses Quantitative Research
A definition of qualitative research as contrasted with quantitative research, and the types of knowledge they both elicit.
This paper describes qualitative research and contrasts it with quantitative research. It discusses the characteristics of phenomenological inquiry or naturalistic research.
“Qualitative research, broadly defined, means “any kind of research that produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantification” (Strauss & Corbin, 1990, p. 17). Where quantitative researchers seek causal determination, prediction, and generalization of findings, qualitative researchers seek, instead, illumination, understanding, and extrapolation to similar situations. Qualitative analysis results in a different type of knowledge than does quantitative inquiry. Eisner, (1991) points out that all knowledge, including that gained through quantitative research, is referenced in qualities, and that there are many ways to represent our understanding of the world.”