Qualitative and Quantitative Research

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Introduction

This essay aims to cover two main focus points. The first section of this essay will take an in depth look at the major differences between two research methods – Qualitative and Quantitative. I will explore when and why they are used for specific types of research and how they apply to some types of work more effectively. The second area for this essay will be based around the research question- what factors contribute to you feeling anxious during sport or exercise? I will then go on to show that the best method to use to analyse this will be by using qualitative research, and then how it can be applied to it to extract all relevant information from it.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

The qualitative and quantitative research methods are divided by many fundamental differences. You could suggest that these two research methods represent the two different ends of a linear spectrum. Qualitative research looks to deal with the in depth, word based side of research whereas on the other end of the spectrum quantitative research works predominantly with number based research and statistics. Birley and Moreland (1998) support this by saying that “the two methodologies reflect various paradigms and that the theoretical model that each method uses to conduct the research come from different areas”.

Qualitative research involves the consideration of emotions and thought processes concerning certain situations, whilst quantitative data collection sets about using statistics and numbers to determine the results (Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Professions). In addition, qualitative research gives a more detailed view of a situation compared to quantitative, which only collects discrete d...

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Silverman, D: (2006) What is qualitative research?. Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analyzing talk, text and interaction. 3rd ed., London: Sage. p.48
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