Despite the hesitation of some, quantitative methods are essential in modern society. They provide a foundation to in depth academic qualitative research and necessary evidence for public policy (Johnston et al. 2014). Supporters of quantitative methods value the objective and replicable information that can be gathered and used as evidence to support human trends in a geographic region that qualitative methods alone ca...
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...where data collection and hypothesis testing is conducted from information that can be observed and recorded by the senses (Matthews and Ross 2010, p.27). Because information can only be observed, positivists look for regularities and explain causation when one event regularly follows another, which is why many will criticize quantitative methods if they associate them with the positivist approach to research (Jones 2010).
Those in social science will continue to debate the importance of quantitative methods, but despite their hesitance, these methods bring to the field strengths in a systematic approach that can generalize and provide strong evidence. Perhaps the strongest relationship is that when quantitative and qualitative methods meet, providing both numeric evidence and a more in depth understanding of the data collected (Matthews and Ross 2010, p. 145).
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