Created for the fields of anthropology, sociology and psychology, qualitative studies attempt to reveal deep meaning in social phenomena. They are documentary in nature and marked by a social interaction with the subject.
Case Studies (Can be "longitudinal")
Phenomenological (observing "lived experiences" and sensations, study of judgment, perception & emotion of a group of people)
Ethnography (description of the culture of a group of people)
|Materials||Field notes, recordings, audio/video
Uses Inductive Reasoning
Open-ended; Seeks exploration
Sometimes lacks a clear hypothesis
Flexible, can change mid-stream depending on findings
Quantitative research methods focus on gathering numerical data to explain a particular phenomenon or existing hypothesis.
Polls, Surveys, Questionnaires (Can be less controlled than experiments)
Controlled Experiments and Tests (Such as medical trials or psych tests. Control the environment and introduce something "new")
Using Existing Data and Manipulating it using Statistical Instruments (often post facto)
|Materials||Computer modeling software; spreadsheets; data sets; tables of raw data and figures to represent effects
Uses Deductive Reasoning
Structured with a set of variables
Seeks to prove a supposed hypothesis
Larger, random selection of participants
Uses mathematical formulas to validate findings
To prevent bias, can be "randomized" and "Double blind" (researcher and participants don't know about each other or where variable has been introduced)
Findings can be generalized to greater populations and manipulated for other studies or purposes
Multi-methods combines "story" with data.
There is also the Idea of "triangulation" of data, which is often a mixed method, but not necessarily.
Using multiple methods of Data can strengthen a study. These can draw from both Quantitative and Qualitative methods. Triangulation can take the following forms:
Glassman, Danny. "QUAL 9400 - Advanced Seminar in Qualitative Research." The University of Georgia, Fall 2014. YouTube. 15 October 2015.
|Primary Source||Secondary Source|
|Literature||“Song of Myself” (Poem)||Journal article about the poem’s historical importance|
|Psychology||Results of clinical trial to treat ADD by modifying diet||Book about ways to treat childhood ADD without drugs|
|Politics and Government||U.S. Census Statistics||Book about suburban population changes in U.S.|
|History||Recorded interview with Choctaw American Indian||Journal article about Native Americans who served in WWII|
|Social Science||Diary of Anne Frank||Book about diaries kept during the Holocaust|
|Art||Photographs by Diane Arbus||Magazine article about 20th century female photographers|
From Thomas, Susan. "Primary versus Secondary Sources," Borough of Manhattan Community College Library Website. BMCC.org: 28 April, 2015. Web.