What are the two types of approaches in research? Explain.

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The two main types of research are qualitative research and quantitative research. Qualitative research is descriptive in nature, because it generally deals with non-numerical and unquantifiable things. A biologist studying symbiotic relationships in nature, for example, would use qualitative research, because the scientist would more often than not be describing behaviors of animals. There might some numerical data in that the researcher would document the number of observations; however, the observations themselves would be descriptive of what the animals do. Anecdotally, when students of...

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Quantitative Methods

  • the main focus is on measuring 'how much is happening to how many people'.
  • the main tools are large scale surveys analysed using statistical techniques. Quantitative measurable indicators relevant to the pre-determined hypotheses are identified and combined into questionnaires.
  • questionnaires are then conducted for a random sample or stratified random sample of individuals, often including a control group.
  • causality is assessed through comparison of the incidence of the variables under consideration between main sample and control group and/or the degree to which they co-occur.
  • in large-scale research projects teams are composed of a number of skilled research designers and analysts assisted by teams of local enumerators.
  • Qualitative Methods
  • typically focuses on compiling a selection of microlevel Case Studies investigated using a combination of informal interviews, participant observation and more recently visual media like photography and video.
  • questions are broad and open-ended and change and develop over time to fill in a 'jigsaw' of differing accounts of 'reality', unravelling which may be said to be generally 'true' and which are specific and subjective and why.
  • different sampling methods are combined: different purposive sampling techniques, identification of key informants and also 'random encounters'.
  • Causality and attribution are directly investigated through questionning as well as qualitative analysis of data. Computer programmes are used to deal systematically with large amounts of data.
  • typically requires long-term immersion of a skilled researcher in the field who engages in a reflexive process of data collection and analsysis.