What is more important, quantity or quality?quality vs. quantity

Expert Answers
wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that it really depends on the situation.  Sometimes quality is more important and other times quantity.  Many times, this is really a matter of opinion.  In one example given above, the post stated they would rather have a quality piece of chocolate rather than several lesser quality pieces of chocolate.  I might disagree.  If I'm really hungry, I would rather have more to eat than a higher quality of food. 

Opinion might come in to play in other areas as well.  For instance, I prefer to have less higher quality items of clothing while my sister prefers to have more quantity than quality.  She purchases new clothes each season because they do not last.  I prefer to save my clothing and have it last longer.  Neither way is wrong.  It's just a matter of preference. 

There are situations where one will always matter more than another.  Drinking water, for instance, will always put quality over quantity.  You could have all the water in the world, but if it is polluted or otherwise unsafe to drink it doesn't matter how much you have. 

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Taking up litlady33's challenge, my first thought is that I'd rather have one hundred crumpled one dollar bills than twenty crisp and clean ones. 

Sometimes quality is not especially important. If I am using grocery bags as garbage bags, then having more bags will be more important than having high quality bags. 

I agree with everything said above, but I think there are probably plenty of situations where quantity does trump quality. This will be especially true if we concoct situations where a minimum amount of something is needed in order to be useful. 

It'll do us little good to have one great fork at a dinner for three. A spectacularly high quality quart of paint does us little good if we need three quarts to get the job done. 


litlady33 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that, in almost any situation, quality is better than quantity. If you are doing a workout and you are doing a certain number of repetitions, any trainer will probably tell you to do 10 quality reps instead of 20 low-quality reps.

When applied to reading, it can be argued that quality is better than quantity as well. Some people try to read as many books as they can, but don't spend enough time to let those books reach them on a deeper level. I would rather spend more time on one book and really let that book soak in than read a book every couple of days and then eventually forget what I read.

This idea can be applied in many sitatuations. I'd be curious if anyone can think if a situation in which quantity is better than quality.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Quantity is the answer in some cases, if you're talking about very basic items, like soybeans or pinestraw. There isn't that much difference in quality between one soybean and the next, assuming they are properly produced.

But if you're talking about something more specialized, like firefighting equipment, you wouldn't want to sacrifice quality. To do so would be to condemn yourself to failure as soon as you needed to make use of the product.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This depends a bit on what we are talking about, but in general, quality is better than quantity.  For example, I would much rather have one or two really close friends than 15 casual acquaintances.  I would prefer to eat one piece of really good chocolate cake than 3 pieces that aren't that great.  The same applies to many other things.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This really depends on what you are talking about.  In some cases, quality is what matters.  If I am baking a cake, I would rather have one good cake then twelve so-so cupcakes.  However, if I am hosting a fundraiser and each person pays the same price for a ticket I want quantity- I don't care who comes!

iamdanielknight | Student

This is simple, quantity is way better than quality. . . hear me out. If i want to chose a favorite artist. i'm not going to pick the one with One great song that plays on the radio 24/7 in fact i'm going to be bored of that song eventually i want to pick the one with more good song that i can sing to because when i get bored of one sone the artist will make another one to make up for the song i am already bored of. Don't like that one? Ok here is another example, Mcdonalds. . . there is no way on earth anyone could look me in the eye and tell me that Mcdonalds has the best of anything better than most or any restaurants when it comes to good "quality" food. in fact, Mcdonalds has the most variety food items in a restaurants compared to most and are constantly switching their food items. Now don't get me wrong Mcdonalds has good stuff but not the best of stuff. in terms on quantity that is what makes them such a high competitor of foods. At the end of the day this is my factual opinion maybe in some cases quality is better but i say most cases quantity is better. Even the teacher advises us to do "more" work. 

sid-sarfraz | Student

Quantity and quality are two separate things. According to me, quality is more important then quantity. Anything produced if is made by keeping quality as priority then that product works effectively even based on little quantity. But if a product is made by keeping quantity as priority and quality is not good then that product would not work effectively. 

I believe in the statement that;

When spent on good quality product but is expensive, the one spending pays once but is satisfied as compared to the one spending again and again on low quality product which is cheap.

zumba96 | Student

In general quality over quantity is valued because it depends on how well you complete something, not just how much you do. But if someone is only completing one thing with amazing quality instead of someone who has completed 9 things in the same time with not as great of a quality, then that could be more important. 

eli468 | Student

This completely depends on the situation. Even when it comes to food, it purely depends on a person's intentions. When going to fast food, it's typically about quantity, whereas going to a restaurant is more about quality. It's the same with certain products. For example, it's nice to have better quality cleaning products rather than a certain amount of cleaning products. It's preferable to have higher quality music over just having as many songs as possible. Both can go hand in hand, but it purely depends on what it being talked about.