Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are similar in that they’re both involved in the collection and analysis of data. The big difference is that whereas quantitative research methodology deals primarily with numbers and statistics, qualitative research tends to deal with words and meaning.

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Quantitative research deals with data that can be measured in concrete ways using numbers and statistics. Qualitative research, on the other hand, involves what can be observed and described but not measured. Qualitative research might involve interviewing people about their opinions and perceptions. This data can be recorded accurately and analyzed according to rigid criteria. It differs from the quantitative in that it cannot be literally measured, as a person's height can be.

Both kinds of research are alike in that they are part of a search for truth in which researchers try to create an accurate picture of reality. For example, astronomy involves more than just measuring distances on Mars, though that is a very important task. It is also a matter of the qualitative, if more subjective, task of recording what is seen, such as the path of gullies, and then to analyze the data to try to determine, for example, if underground water sources might exist on the planet.

All researchers, no...

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