Since the beginning, both qualitative and quantitative analyses ask different questions to be answered. According to Mahoney and Goertz (2006), qualitative research concerns with “causes-of-effects” while quantitative, “effects-of-causes” in explaining the phenomena. This means that in qualitative analysis, the researchers will ask questions such as “What causes democracy?” “Why does civil war break out?” and so on and those of quantitative analysis may construct questions such as “What are the effects of economic development on democracy?” “What effect does ethnic fragmentation have on ceasing civil wars?” and so forth.
Such being the case, qualitative and quantitative research may arrive at different answers as well. While explaining the phenomenon, qualitative researchers are not limited to defined independent variables like in qu...
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...tive research point of view, completing what is left off by the quantitative analysis.
In a nutshell, it is important to note that qualitative and quantitative analyses ask different questions that arrive them at different answers. The variable selection in quantitative analysis depends upon previous existing theory and literature and such practice limit what the quantitative can produce to explain the phenomenon. On the other hand, qualitative analysis is open to whatever independent variable causes the dependent variable; therefore, unusual and many surprising factors related to the outcomes may be found. Furthermore, since social phenomenon is path-dependent, it is favorable to be observed in qualitative terms but in order to be able to generalize better with a wide variety of cases, quantitative analysis is recommended as a complimentary to qualitative analysis.
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