Difference between Quantitative and Qualitative

When preparing a research report, it is very important to understand and be clear about many of the concepts that should be used, especially if the success or failure of our research depends on their knowledge. Difference between Quantitative and Qualitative

The phenomena that we investigate , depending on their nature, are treated from different approaches: quantitative, qualitative and mixed. But in this case, since they are the most common; we will focus on explaining the difference between the first two.

QUANTITATIVE  Difference between Quantitative and Qualitative

For the quantitative approach the specific value is a measure, degree or quantity. When conducting an investigation of this type, very objective techniques are used; as the controlled and structured observation from which external inferences are drawn beyond the data.

Quantitative properties can be explanatory and correlative. Oriented to a result. They allow obtaining robust and repeatable results, as well as being generalizable.

The advantage of quantitative techniques is their ability to have external value to the research of which they are part, since with a representative sample of a population it is possible to reach general conclusions for the universe of the population with a defined safety and precision; However, its disadvantage resides in its weak internal validity, since it does not delve much into the explanation of the causes of the phenomenon.


The qualitative approach, as the name implies, focuses on observable qualities. In this case, the techniques used and the results obtained are more subjective.

Qualitative properties can be descriptive or exploratory and are aimed at obtaining rich and deep data, but with the disadvantage that they are not easily generalizable.

The advantage of qualitative techniques is their power in internal validity, since it tries to know a singular-particular fact with a certain depth; however, its disadvantage lies in its inability to generalize its findings. The use of both techniques (quantitative and qualitative) in an investigation, could probably help to correct the disadvantages of each approach.

Key differences between quantitative and qualitative

  1. The quantitative approach focuses on numbers, quantities, degrees, and measurements; while the qualitative one attends to the qualities, identities, shape …
  2. The data obtained through quantitative techniques are generalizable, while those obtained through qualitative techniques are not.
  3. The quantitative approach is more objective, while the qualitative one works more with subjective aspects.

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