Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

 The theoretical foundations of qualitative and quantitative methods are very different, but many researchers believe both methods should be used in the research study to increase validity and reliability. What advantages or disadvantages do you see in using both types of methods in a nursing study? Support your answer with current evidence-based literature  Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

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Overview of Mixed Methods

The following module provides a basic overview of mixed methods research including definitions and a discussion of advantages, challenges and uses.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define mixed methods research and compare and contrast it with qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Discuss the advantages and challenges of using mixed methods research.
  • Provide basic examples of when this methodology may be useful.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

 In previous Research Ready modules, both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies were discussed in detail. Mixed methods research is an approach to inquiry and research that combines quantitative and qualitative methods into one study in order to provide a broader perspective. Instead of focusing on one type of methodology, mixed methods researchers emphasize the research problem and use all approaches available in order to come to a better understanding.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

Mixed methods research involves collecting and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data includes closed-end information that undergoes statistical analysis and results in a numerical representation. Qualitative data, on the other hand, is more subjective and open-ended. It allows for the “voice” of the participants to be heard and interpretation of observations. Considering the methods discussed in the quantitative and qualitative modules, following are a few examples of how the methodologies may be mixed to provide a more thorough understanding of a research problem.

  • A researcher may collect data using a quantitative data instrument. The researcher may then follow up by interviewing a subset of the participants to learn more detailed information about some of the survey responses, providing a more thorough understanding of the results.
  • A researcher may conduct interviews to explore how individuals describe or feel about a particular topic and then use that information to develop a more useful quantitative survey.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper
  • The researcher may be planning to use quantitative methods to assess the impact of a particular treatment plan. He or she may conducts interviews to better recruit appropriate participants for the trial.
  • The researcher uses focus groups to collect information regarding a topic and then uses a quantitative survey with a larger group to validate the responses of the focus group.

These are just a few of the ways that methodologies may be combined in one study to create mixed methods research. Additional modules in this series will provide more detailed information regarding the actual methods and how to analyze the results. However, it is first important to have a clear understanding of some of the advantages and challenges associated with using mixed methods research.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper


  • Both quantitative and qualitative research have weaknesses. Quantitative research is weak in understanding the context or setting in which data is collected. Qualitative research may include biases and does not lend itself to statistical analysis and generalization. Mixed method strategies can offset these weaknesses by allowing for both exploration and analysis in the same study.
  • Researchers are able to use all the tools available to them and collect more comprehensive data. This provides results that have a broader perspective of the overall issue or research problem.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper
  • The final results may include both observations and statistical analyses. Therefore, the results are validated within the study. Using both approaches in one study provides additional evidence and support for the findings.
  • Mixed methods combines inductive and deductive thinking and reasoning.
  • The researcher can use both words and numbers to communicate the results and findings and thus, appeal to a wider audience.
  • Combining methodologies helps to reduce the personal biases of the researcher.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper


  • It is more time-consuming to collect both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • The study may require more resources to collect both types of data.
  • The research procedures are more complicated and may be out of the comfort zone of the researcher. Investigators are often trained in quantitative or qualitative methods and may need assistance crossing over.
  • Methodology requires clear presentation when published or presented so that the audience can accurately understand the procedures and the findings.

The following Slideshare Presentation, Mixed Methods Research, provides an excellent overview of mixed methods research. It compares and contrasts qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods, as well as describes mixed methodology.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

An assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of Quantitative research methods.

Quantitative data is data in a numerical form- in the form of numbers. Qualitative data spans a range of material from the descriptions of social life provided by participant observation and unstructured interviews to information from written sources.

Quantitative data is usually in the form of statistics. Questionnaires and structured interviews are typical methods used when gaining quantitative data, as the results are easily transferable to a numerical form. Qualitative data is associated with participant observation, it can include unstructured interviews, information from written sources such as diaries, autobiographies and novels, information focusing on descriptive aspects of social life, thus helping the researcher experience that portion of social life.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

Quantitative data is usually objective, quantitative data is numerically and statistically based. Examples of objective data are divorce statistics, crime statistics and opinion polls; the bias of the researcher is irrelevant as long as he/she doesn’t deliberately alter the findings. Exceptions apply when referring to ‘interviewer bias’.

‘Interviewer bias’ is unavoidable; the interviewer will undoubtedly affect the responses of the interviewee. The interviewer has particular personality traits, e.g. aggressive/passive; they also have particularly social characteristics, e.g. race, gender, age group and social class.  Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper The social and psychological characteristics will be received and recognised in certain ways by the interviewee, and undoubtedly have an effect on their responses. Qualitative data is not objective; the researcher has to adopt the values of the subjects, which will affect the data collected. One of the most popular methods is participant observation, also connected is when a researcher ‘goes native’. By temporarily becoming or by pretending to become members of the group being studied it is easier to provide an accurate description of social life for that particular subject, unfortunately this includes adopting the values of the subject too, making the research void of objectivity.

Quantitative research methods are more reliable than qualitative research methods, because quantitative data usually consists of official statistics, gathered and averaged among many mathematicians where as qualitative research relies heavily upon the validity of the researcher, as essentially it is the researchers experiences which influence his/her results.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

Various other advantages to quantitative research methods include; Easy to interpret, the results are written in numerical or statistical forms, thus interpretation isn’t difficult. This approach is favoured by positivists, because of its scientifically natured methods. With Quantitative data there is no possibility of ‘going native’, as the researcher doesn’t ‘get involved’ with the ‘subject’. The actual methods are quicker / less time consuming, and more cost effective, these apply to mass research as in postal questionnaires. Quantitative methods can cover the wider population (postal questionnaires), thus meaning the research can be classed as Representative – sampling, the researcher can generalise results to the wider population. And the data received can be used to establish relationships/correlation’s between variables (not cause effect relationships).Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

The disadvantages to quantitative data are; the research fails to give an in-depth picture compared to qualitative data, which is rich with description. Qualitative data can be unreliable (see Durkheim’s study of suicide). The research methods can induce the researcher to manipulate the ‘subjects’ answers to suit the research. Quantitative data overlooks motivations, feelings, opinions, and attitudes of individuals who are carrying out the research and also those individuals participating in the research. Sampling problems can also occur making the research not always representative and generalisation is impossible if results aren’t representative. Low response rate, particularly with postal questionnaires, often occurs too. This type of research does not produce cause/effect relationships. The research is usually not valid because the researcher relies on the truthfulness of the ‘subject’.Advantages Or Disadvantages Of Qualitative And Quantitative Methods Essay Paper

From the above conclusions could be drawn as to which type of research methods or more capable of the job in hand, but depending on the need for the research then each research methods purpose can increase/decrease. E.g. – to get a picture of social life – qualitative data, to get data about social life – quantitative. From my findings I have found that there are more advantages than disadvantages, although this doesn’t make it ‘better’ against qualitative, it is merely ‘better’ at the specific task it performs.


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