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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

An important decision that the researcher must make is whether to do quantitative or qualitative research. Quantitative research refers to studies in which the findings are mainly the product of statistical summary and analysis. Qualitative research produces verbal summaries of research findings with few statistical summaries or analysis. Just as psychological research is more frequently nomothetic than idiographic, it is also more typically quantitative than qualitative (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2012, p. 43).  Psychologists seek to describe events and relationships between variables; most often, researchers use the nomothetic approach and quantitative analysis.  Qualitative research is used extensively by sociologists and anthropologists.


Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S.(2012). Research methods in psychology (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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