Qualitative Research For Studying Human Behavior And Habits Psychology Essay

For example, a designer generating some ideas for a new product might want to study people’s habits and preferences, to make sure that the product is commercially viable. Quantitative research is then used to assess whether the completed design is popular or not.

Qualitative research is often regarded as a precursor to quantitative research, in that it is often used to generate possible leads and ideas which can be used to formulate a realistic and testable hypothesis. This hypothesis can then be comprehensively tested and mathematically analyzed, with standard quantitative research methods.

For these reasons, these qualitative methods are often closely allied with survey design techniques and individual case studies, as a way to reinforce and evaluate findings over a broader scale.

One example of a qualitative research design might be a survey constructed as a precursor to the paper towel experiment.

A study completed before the experiment was performed would reveal which of the multitude of brands were the most popular. The quantitative experiment could then be constructed around only these brands, saving a lot of time, money and resources.

Qualitative methods are probably the oldest of all scientific techniques, with Ancient Greek philosophers qualitatively observing the world around them and trying to come up with answers which explained what they saw.

DESIGN

The design of qualitative research is probably the most flexible of the various experimental techniques, encompassing a variety of accepted methods and structures.

From an individual case study to an extensive survey, this type of study still needs to be carefully constructed and designed, but there is no standardized structure.

Case studies and survey designs are the most commonly used methods.

When to use the Qualitative Research Design

ADVANTAGES

Qualitative techniques are extremely useful when a subject is too complex be answered by a simple yes or no hypothesis. These types of designs are much easier to plan and carry out, useful when budgetary decisions have to be taken into account.

The broader scope covered by these designs ensures that some useful data is always generated, whereas an unproved hypothesis in a quantitative experiment can mean that a lot of time has been wasted. Qualitative research methods are not as dependent upon sample sizes as quantitative methods; a case study, for example, can generate meaningful results with a small sample group.

DISADVANTAGES

Whilst not as time or resource consuming as quantitative experiments, qualitative methods still require a lot of careful thought and planning, to ensure that the results obtained are as accurate as possible.

Qualitative data cannot be mathematically analyzed in the same comprehensive way as quantitative results, so can only give a guide to general trends. It is a lot more open to personal opinion and judgment, and so can only ever give observations rather than results.

Any qualitative research design is usually unique and cannot be exactly recreated, meaning that they do lack the ability to be peer reviewed.

by Martyn Shuttleworth (2008).

Related articles:

Quantitative Research Design – Proving Cause and Effect

Compraing Quantitative and Qualitative Research

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Shuttleworth, Martyn (2008). Qualitative Research Design. Retrieved [Date of Retrieval] from Experiment Resources: http://www.experiment-resources.com/qualitative-research-design.html

What is the Difference between Quantitative and Qualitative Research?

In a nutshell, Quantitative Research generates numerical data or information that can be converted into numbers. Only measurable data are being gathered and analyzed in this type of research.

Qualitative Research on the other hand generates non-numerical data. It focuses on gathering of mainly verbal data rather than measurements. Gathered information is then analyzed in an interpretative manner, subjective, impressionistic or even diagnostic.

Here’s a more detailed point-by-point comparison between the two types of research:

1. Goal or Aim of the Research

The primary aim of a Qualitative Research is to provide a complete, detailed description of the research topic. Quantitative Research on the other hand focuses more in counting and classifying features and constructing statistical models and figures to explain what is observed.

2. Usage

Qualitative Research is ideal for earlier phases of research projects while for the latter part of the research project, Quantitative Research is highly recommended. Quantitative Research provides the researcher a clearer picture of what to expect in his research compared to Qualitative Research.

3. Data Gathering Instrument

The researcher serves as the primary data gathering instrument in Qualitative Research. Here, the researcher employs various data-gathering strategies, depending upon the thrust or approach of his research. Examples of data-gathering strategies used in Qualitative Research are individual in-depth interviews, structures and non-structured interviews, focus groups, narratives, content or documentary analysis, participant observation and archival research.

On the other hand, Quantitative Research makes use of tools such as questionnaires, surveys and other equipment to collect numerical or measurable data.

4. Type of Data

The presentation of data in a Qualitative Research is in the form of words (from interviews) and images (videos) or objects (such as artifacts). If you are conducting a Qualitative Research what will most likely appear in your discussion are figures in the form of graphs. However, if you are conducting a Quantitative Research, what will most likely appear in your discussion are tables containing data in the form of numbers and statistics.

5. Approach

Qualitative Research is primarily subjective in approach as it seeks to understand human behavior and reasons that govern such behavior. Researchers have the tendency to become subjectively immersed in the subject matter in this type of research method.

In Quantitative Research, researchers tend to remain objectively separated from the subject matter. This is because Quantitative Research is objective in approach in the sense that it only seeks precise measurements and analysis of target concepts to answer his inquiry.

DETERMINING WHICH METHOD SHOULD BE USED

Debates have been ongoing, tackling which method is better than the other. The reason why this remains unresolved until now is that, each has its own strengths and weaknesses which actually vary depending upon the topic the researcher wants to discuss. This then leads us to the question “Which method should be used?”

The goals of each of the two methods have already been discussed above. Therefore, if your study aims to find out the answer to an inquiry through numerical evidence, then you should make use of the Quantitative Research. However, if in your study you wish to explain further why this particular event happened, or why this particular phenomenon is the case, then you should make use of Qualitative Research.

Some studies make use of both Quantitative and Qualitative Research, letting the two complement each other. If your study aims to find out, for example, what the dominant human behavior is towards a particular object or event and at the same time aims to examine why this is the case, it is then ideal to make use of both methods.

by Experiment Resources (2009).

Related articles:

Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research

Citation:

Experiment Resources (2009). Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Retrieved [Date of Retrieval] from Experiment Resources: http://www.experiment-resources.com/quantitative-and-qualitative-research.html

Read more: http://www.experiment-resources.com/quantitative-and-qualitative-research.html#ixzz0fl0SBirX

Read more: http://www.experiment-resources.com/qualitative-research-design.html#ixzz0fl0CTvpT

What is the Difference between Quantitative and Qualitative Research?

In a nutshell, Quantitative Research generates numerical data or information that can be converted into numbers. Only measurable data are being gathered and analyzed in this type of research.

Qualitative Research on the other hand generates non-numerical data. It focuses on gathering of mainly verbal data rather than measurements. Gathered information is then analyzed in an interpretative manner, subjective, impressionistic or even diagnostic.

Here’s a more detailed point-by-point comparison between the two types of research:

1. Goal or Aim of the Research

The primary aim of a Qualitative Research is to provide a complete, detailed description of the research topic. Quantitative Research on the other hand focuses more in counting and classifying features and constructing statistical models and figures to explain what is observed.

2. Usage

Qualitative Research is ideal for earlier phases of research projects while for the latter part of the research project, Quantitative Research is highly recommended. Quantitative Research provides the researcher a clearer picture of what to expect in his research compared to Qualitative Research.

3. Data Gathering Instrument

The researcher serves as the primary data gathering instrument in Qualitative Research. Here, the researcher employs various data-gathering strategies, depending upon the thrust or approach of his research. Examples of data-gathering strategies used in Qualitative Research are individual in-depth interviews, structures and non-structured interviews, focus groups, narratives, content or documentary analysis, participant observation and archival research.

On the other hand, Quantitative Research makes use of tools such as questionnaires, surveys and other equipment to collect numerical or measurable data.

4. Type of Data

The presentation of data in a Qualitative Research is in the form of words (from interviews) and images (videos) or objects (such as artifacts). If you are conducting a Qualitative Research what will most likely appear in your discussion are figures in the form of graphs. However, if you are conducting a Quantitative Research, what will most likely appear in your discussion are tables containing data in the form of numbers and statistics.

5. Approach

Qualitative Research is primarily subjective in approach as it seeks to understand human behavior and reasons that govern such behavior. Researchers have the tendency to become subjectively immersed in the subject matter in this type of research method.

In Quantitative Research, researchers tend to remain objectively separated from the subject matter. This is because Quantitative Research is objective in approach in the sense that it only seeks precise measurements and analysis of target concepts to answer his inquiry.

DETERMINING WHICH METHOD SHOULD BE USED

Debates have been ongoing, tackling which method is better than the other. The reason why this remains unresolved until now is that, each has its own strengths and weaknesses which actually vary depending upon the topic the researcher wants to discuss. This then leads us to the question “Which method should be used?”

The goals of each of the two methods have already been discussed above. Therefore, if your study aims to find out the answer to an inquiry through numerical evidence, then you should make use of the Quantitative Research. However, if in your study you wish to explain further why this particular event happened, or why this particular phenomenon is the case, then you should make use of Qualitative Research.

Some studies make use of both Quantitative and Qualitative Research, letting the two complement each other. If your study aims to find out, for example, what the dominant human behavior is towards a particular object or event and at the same time aims to examine why this is the case, it is then ideal to make use of both methods.

by Experiment Resources (2009).

Citation:

Experiment Resources (2009). Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Retrieved [Date of Retrieval] from Experiment Resources: http://www.experiment-resources.com/quantitative-and-qualitative-research.html

These experiments are sometimes referred to as true science, and use traditional mathematical and statistical means to measure results conclusively.

They are most commonly used by physical scientists, although social sciences, education and economics have been known to use this type of research. It is the opposite of qualitative research.

Quantitative experiments all use a standard format, with a few minor inter-disciplinary differences, of generating a hypothesis to be proved or disproved. This hypothesis must be provable by mathematical and statistical means, and is the basis around which the whole experiment is designed.

Randomization of any study groups is essential, and a control group should be included, wherever possible. A sound quantitative design should only manipulate one variable at a time, or statistical analysis becomes cumbersome and open to question.

Ideally, the research should be constructed in a manner that allows others to repeat the experiment and obtain similar results.

When to perform the quantitative research design.

ADVANTAGES

Quantitative research design is an excellent way of finalizing results and proving or disproving a hypothesis. The structure has not changed for centuries, so is standard across many scientific fields and disciplines.

After statistical analysis of the results, a comprehensive answer is reached, and the results can be legitimately discussed and published. Quantitative experiments also filter out external factors, if properly designed, and so the results gained can be seen as real and unbiased.

Quantitative experiments are useful for testing the results gained by a series of qualitative experiments, leading to a final answer, and a narrowing down of possible directions for follow up research to take.

DISADVANTAGES

Quantitative experiments can be difficult and expensive and require a lot of time to perform. They must be carefully planned to ensure that there is complete randomization and correct designation of control groups.

Quantitative studies usually require extensive statistical analysis, which can be difficult, due to most scientists not being statisticians. The field of statistical study is a whole scientific discipline and can be difficult for non-mathematicians

In addition, the requirements for the successful statistical confirmation of results are very stringent, with very few experiments comprehensively proving a hypothesis; there is usually some ambiguity, which requires retesting and refinement to the design. This means another investment of time and resources must be committed to fine-tune the results.

Quantitative research design also tends to generate only proved or unproven results, with there being very little room for grey areas and uncertainty. For the social sciences, education, anthropology and psychology, human nature is a lot more complex than just a simple yes or no response.

by Martyn Shuttleworth (2008).

Related articles:

Qualitative Research Design – Exploring a Subject in Depth

Experimental Research

Hypothesis Testing – Comparing the Null and Alternative Hypothesis

Read more: http://www.experiment-resources.com/quantitative-research-design.html#ixzz0fl1FI6ng

In a previous post, I talked about what designers need to know about economic class. How did we learn that economic class can be “seen” in designs? How did we learn that “refined” taste is “upper” class?

In general, use qualitative research at the beginning of a design process to uncover innovations. Use quantitative research at the end of a design process to measure improvement.

It started with qualitative research, and became “refined” (no pun intended) with quantitative research. French sociology Pierre Bourdieu followed a typical arc to the narrative research by first investigating economic class in an open-ended fashion. Once he established what he thought was going on, he tested these ideas with large surveys.

If you know little about the topic, start with the qualitative. This means ethnographic observation and in-depth interviewing. Open ended questions are best. At this stage, you’re trying to find the lay of the land. If you’re designing a new car stereo for example, you may wish to start by watching people use their existing car stereos. Maybe drive around with them and ask them questions about what they like.

Once you’ve learned the basics of car stereo requirements, user needs and pain points, it’s time to test your assumptions. This is where the quantitative comes in. Close-ended questions are best here, including multiple choice, yes/no, or simply number of “successes.” Let’s say you’ve learned through your observations that people don’t like how their stereos require programming their radio stations. It’s too much bother, they told you. You think pre-programmed stations might be a good design improvement, so you create a new stereo with pre-programmed stations.

Did it work? Ask your stereo users how they like the new system after they have bought their new car. But the question is, compared to what? This is where quantitative research gets tricky. You can compare the new stereos on select models (58% of users of the new model are very satisfied, while only 32% of users of the old model are). Or you can compare before and after the improvement – the so-called “pre-and post test.” That requires time, foresight, and – you guessed it – budget.

Below is a diagram that summarizes the research “funnel” from exploration to validation.

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