One element that differentiates the qualitative article from the quantitative article is the size of the group studied. Qualitative research conducts studies using a small number of people that are not randomly selected. In the article ”Perceptions of Older Rural Women Using Computerized Programs for Weight Management” (O’Brien et al., 2014) the sample size included only 24 people who were chosen because of their rural environment. In contrast, the article “Do Overweight Adolescents Perceive the Need to Reduce Weight and Take Healthy Actions?” (Chen, Fan, Jane, & Wu, 2009) consisted of 217 people. A larger sample size helps produce generalizable results of a particular population.
The methods used for collecting data helps differentiate between qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research focuses on subjective data including focus groups, in-depth interviews, and reviews of documents for types of themes. In the article “Perceptions of Older Rural Women Using Computerized Programs for Weight Management” (O’Brien et al., 2014) the researcher conducted interviews using open-ended questions. The unstructured questions allowed the interviewee to express themselves in their own way. In contrast, quantitative research uses objective data. For example, in the article “Do Overweig...
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...data versus numerical-based data. Qualitative research uses narrative-based data. The data should be organized into categories, patterns or themes. For example, in the article “Perceptions of Older Rural Women Using Computerized Programs for Weight Management” six themes emerged from the analysis of the interviews. The key themes were awareness, use of the Internet, personal relationships, self-image, peer support, and obstacles (O’Brien et al., 2014). Quantitative research, on the other hand, uses numerical-based data. They are often arranged in tables, charts, figures, or other numerical forms. In the article, “Do Overweight Adolescents Perceive the Need to Reduce Weight and Take Healthy Actions?” five tables were used to present the data (Chen et al., 2009).
These are just a few examples of the differences between qualitative research and quantitative research.
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