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Weakness and Strength of Qualitative and Quantitative Research
If qualitative research is turned down as a weak alternative to a study it is connected with the problems concerning validity in survey data which are largely invisible as a result, in particular by statisticians and economists who have deal with large datasets and official statistics.
The advantage of qualitative methods lies in the study of motivations between factors. The question “why” sometimes can not be asked or answered directly, and may include a number of circumstantial and contextual factors that create connections or choices between matters which are not related. Qualitative research can be very useful in defining patterns of associations between factors on the ground, as confronted with abstract interrelations received from investigation of large scale surveys and combined data. Besides, one of the most significant practical conclusions which can be deduced from the qualitative research is that it can be carried out with rather small budgets of money and time, even with the use of specialist commercial agencies.
Quantitative research is used to denote approaches which are supported by a set of hypotheses; it resorts to applying the model of science of natural world to study the social world. The accent of the quantitative research is on patterns, causes and results. Quantitative research uses the tenets of positivism which consist in the fact that patterns of the social world have own existence.
However, in actual fact the difference between quantitative and qualitative research is simplistic. To greater extend research applies a number of methods the combination of which may include qualitative and quantitative elements. Quantitative and qualitative researches mainly differ in the treatment of information, in the way they apply this data.