There are two main types of the research in the scientific field, quantitative and qualitative research and a mixed research method which comprises the elements of the quantitative and qualitative research. It is important to know that the approach to the research is usually chosen on the basis of the main idea of the presupposed research. Basing on the main purposes and desired outcomes of the research, the researcher should choose one of the required methods. Therefore, it is impossible to say that one of the methods is better from another one. Only after consideration of the specific purposes, the method should be chosen.
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The main purposes of the qualitative research are to comprise the information aimed at discussing and describing the research results. The researcher may be aware of the information he/she is looking for but he/she should not know for sure what kind of the information it is going to be. This kind of the research is recommended for the early stages of the research when a researcher is not really aware of the situation and the data which will be acquired. The instrument of the research is mainly the researcher who collects the data. Additionally, the data considered with this research method is usually displayed with words, pictures and objects (Creswell, 1998). The main methods of the qualitative research are interviews, observations, and documentation. One of the main purposes of the qualitative research is to evaluate the data and after close consideration to make a detailed description of the considered results. The researcher does not use any specific tools for data analysis.
Quantitative research is considered to be a more detailed point. It is aimed at classifying countable data and creating a statistical model explaining the observed data. The researcher should know in advance which data is going to be researched and particular tools should be used for gathering quantitative data. Qualitative research is usually planned on the basis of the recommendations and is never used on the early stages of the new research idea. Having a goal to test a specific hypothesis, numerical and statistical data is usually displayed that offer eliminated contextual details. Questionnaires, experiments and other specific methods may be considered as the quantitative research methods (Creswell, 2003). Quantitative research validity depends on the instrumentation of the research. Therefore, this type of research helps to generalize the results by means of making people answer of a limited set of questions (Patton, 2002).
It is obvious that each of the research methods considered above has advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, there are specific cases when one research type cannot offer the whole information and the results are going to be irrelative. In this case, the mixed method is used. The main idea of this method is to take the qualities of the quantitative and qualitative research and create a design which perfectly corresponds to the desired purpose. Setting the purposes, a researcher may use both numerical data and description analysis. The main peculiarity of this method is that he researcher can choose the best of two considered types of the research and provide the results which perfectly correspond to the set goals. Thus, it may be concluded that here are three types of the research (qualitative, quantitative and mixed) which should be considered depending on the research goals.
Creswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five traditions. New York: Sage Publications.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. New York: SAGE.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. New York: SAGE.
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