Researcher’s Role in Quantitative Versus Qualitative Study
The quantitative research method is mainly objective in nature and is largely concerned with researching the quantitative aspect of a study. It utilizes statistical tools in data collection, entry, and analysis. The most widely used methods of data collection, in this case, are observations, tests, questionnaires, surveys, and the use of existing statistical time series. The qualitative research method, on the other hand, interprets, evaluates, gathers, and uses qualitative data study methods to examine qualitative facts; this method is very subjective when compared to a quantitative method and is usually focused on the wider population than quantitative methods. Case studies, observations, and interviews are commonly used in the collection of data in qualitative designed studies.
In quantitative research, the researcher must use the hypothesis to test theories, models, and accounts; these theories and accounts are generated by a qualitative researcher in the process of interpreting the data; this is, in fact, the major difference between a qualitative and quantitative researcher. For each of these types of research design, the researcher must possess unique and specialized skills consistent with the type of the study. In the case of the quantitative researcher, conversant of statistical programs used for data entry and analysis are essential. In contrast, for qualitative researchers, the ability to hypothesize theories based on subjective data is a must. Additionally, a quantitative researcher takes great care to remain objective in the process of data analysis. In contrast, the opposite is true for qualitative researchers as data must be analyzed subjectively, and bias is, in fact, permissible.
A researcher carrying out a quantitative study must make ensure that the generated results are scientifically credible and can be modeled in such a way that uncertainty and randomness are accounted for in observations. Inferential statistics can be used to illustrate the population under study. A quantitative researcher can use causal studies to show the relationship between the dependent and independent variables under study, and manipulation of independent variables by way of the experiment is allowed in the process of the research study; in this case, a researcher can manipulate various variables In quantitative study data is not manipulated and the collected data is instead analyzed to find a correlation between various variables.
A qualitative researcher must generate information that can easily be applied in an actual world situation than a quantitative researcher; the data analyzed through the use of qualitative method lacks external and internal validity. This is because the information generated is subjective in nature, and it is paramount for the researcher to subjectively interpret the data, including thorough use of his experiences. The researcher must use a case study which can be used in various ways that include an in-depth evaluation of an event instead of using samples and complying with a fixed protocol in the evaluation of a restricted number of variables as is the case in quantitative research.
A qualitative researcher must use a natural setting that will be the context from which the data collection must be undertaken. This is essential because subjects of qualitative research study cannot be investigated independently from their social environment. In conclusion, therefore, a qualitative researcher and a quantitative researcher are worlds apart as far as the collection of data and analysis element of the study is concerned, not to mention the very study designs involved. In summary, qualitative methods are mainly used in theory development through an exploratory research study, while a quantitative researcher uses the theory developed to test the hypothesis of interest. The qualitative researcher should use case studies to study context, innovation, and creativity; on the other hand, the quantitative researcher should apply statistical techniques to study homogeneous and regular behavior that are patterned. The two research methods have weaknesses and strengths, meaning that none of the methods is better than the other, which means that the researcher’s role in each case will be unique and different.