Currently, two types of research methodologies are widely used in academic research. These are quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies form the foundation of the research. The quantitative research methodology relies on numbers and focuses on the phenomenon of testing a theory by using statistical techniques.
A quantitative research is usually conducted using a number of scientific methods which may include model, theory and hypothesis generation, the development of instrumentation as well as the methods that will be used for measurement, the control and manipulation of variable during the experiment, data collection, data modelling as well as its analysis and eventual evaluation of results (Ary et al. 2009). Statistics is widely is analysis of the data obtained through quantitative means as it helps in evaluating the relationship between different variables. For example, casual relationships can be studied using statistical models by manipulating the factors that are assumed to have an effect on the phenomenon of interest while controlling other variables that are related to the outcomes of the experiment. Quantitative opinion survey is also a popular method of data collection with statistics such as the proportion of the participants of the survey in favour or against the position most commonly reported. Empirical relationships and associations can also be studied using statistical model.
On the other hand, qualitative research is geared more toward the process of finding out about a human or social problem as different perspective of a problems are evaluated in qualitative research. Qualitative research implies the collection of non-numerical data or explanations that is based on the attributes of a graph or source of data. The analysis of data in a qualitative research can take a variety of forms; however, it tends to vary from quantitative approach with its core on language, signs, meanings as well as investigative approaches that are holistic and relative instead of reductionist and isolationist. Qualitative research also differs from quantitative research as its methods can be used for investigative purposes in contrast to quantitative methods that are used to test hypothesis. Qualitative research can also answer questions such as how and why some outcomes were achieved in a more effective and efficient manner than quantitative approach. Qualitative approach is also advantageous as it allows more diverse set of responses to be included in the research (Ary et al. 2009).
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