Qualitative and Quantitative research in table form

Many times people who start a research project find that they are not aware of the differences between qualitative research methods and quantitative research methods. In fact, it is more common than you think to use the two terms interchangeably. But nothing is further from reality, for each case it will be necessary to use one methodology or another.  qualitative and quantitative research in tabular form

Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research?

Qualitative research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to understand the underlying reasons, opinions and motivations. Provides an understanding of the problem or helps develop ideas or hypotheses for possible quantitative investigation. Qualitative Research is also used to discover trends in thinking and opinions, and to dig deeper into the problem. Qualitative data collection methods vary using unstructured or semi-structured techniques. Some common methods are focus groups (group discussions), individual interviews, and participation / observation. The sample size is usually small and respondents are selected to meet a certain quota.

Quantitative research

Quantitative research is used to quantify the problem by generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics. It is used to be able to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors and other defined variables, and to generalize the results from a larger population sample. Quantitative Research uses measurable information to formulate facts and discover patterns in research. Its collection methods are much more structured than qualitative data collection methods. Quantitative data collection methodologies include various types of surveys. For example: online surveys, paper surveys, street surveys, face-to-face interviews, telephone surveys, longitudinal studies,

Main differences between qualitative and quantitative research

Theory / research relationship In the inductive framework that is articulated in the context of “discovery”, the researcher rejects the formulation of theories . Theory and research work simultaneously. Sequential phases, based on a deductive approach that is articulated in the context of «justification». Theory precedes investigation.
ConceptsThey seek to find the character of the singularity.Definitive and operational, they are the theory and become variables from the beginning.
The relationship with the studied environmentNaturalistic approach: space and actions are analyzed in the present during the investigation.Experimental approach: the subject does not respond but this is not a problem.
Investigator / responsible interactionEssential, it is necessary that empathy arises between the two parties.Almost absent, the interviewer should be warm and human but should not interact outside the questionnaire.
Search designWithout a structure, open, looking for unexpected options, it is modified in progress.Closed structure, planned in advance.
Representativeness of the defendantNon-existent. Different information is taken at different levels of depth.It is necessary to use representative samples.
The uniformity of the detection instrumentAbsent. Not necessarily always the same.It is necessary to use a standard.
Nature of the dataSoft: Data collected in its entirety, subjective.Soft: Data collected in its entirety, subjective.
Respondent typeUnique individual.variable individual.
Analysis typeCase based on the holistic prospect of human behaviormathematical and statistical techniques based on variables.
Presentation of the dataQuotes, narrative style excerpts, to allow reality and it has been experienced during the study.Tables and graphs, statistics, analysis and comparison with data obtained and data from previous years and with estimates.
GeneralizationAbsent. Identification of Weberian ideal types, interpretation of reality.Necessary. Individual fragmentation, correlation between variables, conceptual unit in the random model.
Scope of the resultsLimited number of cases.significant number, representativeness.
MethodologyObservation of the accused in the focus room, interviews with privileged witnesses.Structured questionnaire for CATI, CAWI or PAPI.


We have discovered all the differences between quantitative and qualitative research. It must be taken into account that there are qualitative nuances in the quantitative instrument, but they should not be confused with the qualitative ones, precisely for the reasons that have been specified so far. For example, in a CATI we could make an open ending and ask: “If I say car, what are the first three brands that come to mind?” The answer will have a qualitative nuance, but this has nothing to do with it, believe me.  So those data will then be transcribed and converted into numbers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button