CMN 3103: Lecture #2 Sept 10 2013
Qualitative vs. quantitative
Qualitative methods rich in context,
Important to understand qualitative research opposed to quantitative because when social sciences evolved
as a range of disciplines, there was always a need to justify or prove the qualitative research against the
hard sciences (quantitative)
It took time for qualitative research to emerge and evolve.
Epistemological foundation and paradigms
Positivist and naturalistic paradigms and world views.
Scientific/ positivist paradigm identified with quantitative research and the naturalistic paradigm with
Now we have reached a point where we combine theses epistemologies together in a single study with
flexibility and sophistication and ease. Ex: mixed methods
Misconception about qualitative= exploratory
Ina study combining qualitative and quantitative it is more nuanced.
How do you decide which method to use when you are doing qualitative research? ▯ you decide what
outcome you would like to achieve. If you want a more numerical result= quantitative, if you are looking for
more opinions= qualitative.
Schools of Thought:
We admit that epistemic or benign relativism is a truism—that different cultures promote different values—
but that values still need to be worked out intersubjectively in an open, adversarial review because specific
choices will affect the quality of life of others. This is one of the primary responsibilities of the media—to get
a conversation going about a contentious ethical issue.
The researcher is crucial to the research to present the findings. the researcher intervenes in the data
Data can take many forms
Subjective somebody else can forma different opinion.
Objective numbers can speak for themselves.
Argument: To be able to make replicable.
Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Subjective Hard data, hard science
Soft data, soft science Deductive process
Inductive process Precise focus
Broader focus Cause and effect relationships
Uncovering meaning and discovery Single reality
Multiple realities Numbers statistics are the building blocks in
Words and narratives are the building blocks in analysis
analysis Final report would be a statistical analysis with
Final report is a narrative with extracts from the correlations, means standard deviations
words of the participants thick contextual Generally greater generalizability
Use of Triangluation in Research Methodology:
Most researchers have a methodological technique they are most comfortable using
Methods impose certain perspectives on reality
Triangulation: originally more common in
Surveying activities, map making, navigation, and military practices
For many researchers, triangulation is
Multiple datagathering techniques to investigate the same phenomenon
Requires researchers to be fluent in multiple methods
Discrete, intertwined strategies/techniques in each primary research scheme
Terms that are used for qualitative research vs. quantitative should be considered in a different cont