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Qualitative research and quantitative research.

Qualitative research and quantitative research. Part 1 Qualitative research and quantitative research There is no doubt that research has found its way into various fields ranging from nursing, business, natural science, philosophy psychology among other. Ideally there are two main approaches in carrying out research; qualitative and quantitative approach (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). The essay is a critical examination of qualitative and quantitative approach To accomplish this task the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses as well as data collection methods of these approaches will be examined. The paradigm of qualitative research is that meaning is socially constructed by person who interacts with the world. The major characteristics of the approach include the following; 1. The aim is to understand and interpret social interactions 2. The group to be investigated is small and not selected randomly 3. Entails studying a whole or entire targeted population 4. Data collected is in form of words, images as well as objects 5. Data analysis looks for patterns themes and common features As suggested by Lichtman, 2006 data can be collected through use of focus group discussion, interviews, action research, formative assessment, participatory research, field notes, reflections to mention but a few. The approach makes it possible for researchers to explore complex phenomenon, it encourages collaboration between researchers and the subject, allows for new themes and hypotheses to be developed. However the approach consumes time and other resources, data analysis is difficult and the respondent can deviate from the subject under investigation (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). Qualitative research approach involves a step by step empirical investigation of social phenomenon through statistical techniques. The major characteristics include; 1. Main purpose is to test hypotheses, examine cause and effect as well as make predictions 2. The group under investigation is large and section of ample is random 3. Certain Variables of interest are studied 4. Data collected is numeric 5. Data analysis identify statistical relationships According to Johnson & Christensen, 2008 data is usually collected through structured and validated data collection tools such as structured interviews, surveys and questionnaires. It allows collection of large data set, data analysis is quite easy, and covers a narrow and specific area hence saves time and other resources. However it does not offer the chance to explore complex phenomenon, the results are limited since they are in numerical terms hence some people might not understand and it may not reflect the feelings, opinions, beliefs of the respondents (Creswell, et al., 2005). Part 2 Research example 3 I strongly believe that using a qualitative approach best suit this study since it will offer the best opportunity of understanding the attitudes and opinions as well as feeling of Irish people concerning use of nuclear power to produce electricity. The data to be collected will include words, no numeric data will be collected (Merriam, 2002). To accomplish this task, I will use two main data instrument interviews and focus group discussion. The two approaches will help in ensuring that the researcher is contextualized in the study, there is high level of collaboration between the researcher and the subject. However the major problem with these approaches is that it is time consuming and data analysis is not easy. Non probabilistic sampling strategy will be used in this case. Since the study will entail human subjects there is need to uphold high standard of ethics, for instance confidentiality, data storage, sharing of information and informed consent (Merriam, 2002). The participant will only take part in the study if they accept. No one will be forced to take part in the research. Additionally information collected is to be shared by the research team only (Creswell, et al., 2005). References Creswell, J et al., (2005). Qualitative Research Designs: Selection and Implementation. The Counseling Psychologist 2007 35: 236-260. Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2008). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Lichtman, M. (2006). Qualitative research in education: A user’s guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Merriam, S. (2002). Introduction to qualitative research. New York: Jossey-Bass Publishers  ]]>

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