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This post by the team of would help students learn about difference between qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative and quantitative researches are the types of the research design. Both the research designs have different goals. Qualitative research is generally inductive and Quantitative research is deductive (Frankel & Devers, 2000). Quantitative research involves data collection, analysis and interpretation. It is mainly a statistical analysis method to solve the research problem, because data used in it, is mathematical and statistical form. Qualitative research is based on texts and images, pictures etc. (Creswell, 2003). Qualitative research includes focus group, in-depth interview, and observation to collect data and then it analyze for the study. It is subjective in nature and describes the problem of research in depth to find out its solution. Whereas quantitative research is objective and uses concepts, constructs, hypothesis which makes up a theory (Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research, 2011).

Qualitative research deals in the words, texts, picture so that it can be observed. It is more flexible in comparison of quantitative research, because it allows adaption of interaction between researcher and its participants. It also include case study to resolve the research problem. It describes whole problem and it uses theories, concepts and case study. It is a descriptive and analytical tool for the research, because it describes the problem deeply and then analyzes. It considers social activities like education, health, social work, administration in the social science. Quantitative research includes survey, sampling and census method to collect data. It requires the data in the numerical value, which can be count. A researcher use all these data on the basis of the way in which a number of people act, think and feel, because in this method number of interview are considered. There are many methods by which data can be collected like experiments, observational study, and survey. Qualitative researcher collects entire data for the research but in case of quantitative research researcher uses several mathematical and statistical tool to collect numerical data. A researcher knows clearly about the research before the quantitative research but in the qualitative research, researcher has a partial knowledge about that, he is doing. Qualitative research recommended in the earlier stage of the study, but in the case of quantitative research it is recommended after the study. Quantitative research uses numbers, and numerical values to summarize the whole study, and to look relationship between variable and participants of the research (Neill, 2007).

Qualitative research requires in-depth study of the human behaviour. It measures standard for research design and analysis (Howe, K., & Eisenhar, M. 1990). Qualitative research uses only rational and relevant data for policy and program evaluation. Both of researches have a major difference of the theoretical view, which affect the individual’s phenomenon perspective. A quantitative research begins with a hypothesis and test for confirmation and rejection of that theory. Qualitative approach is used with the aim of developing a theory. It includes psychological and behavioral science investigation. Quantitative research focuses on the measurement and amount of characteristics and behaviour of people (Thomas, 2003).

Qualitative research and quantitative research are contrasted to each other because one which considers the quantity of the respondent and another considers the quality of the study.

We hope that this post would be useful for students to understand about quantitative and qualitative research designs and how these approaches differ from each other. If you have any further or need help with your research design or dissertation help, please send us an email to


Creswell, J. W. (2003) Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches ed. 2, USA: SAGE publication ltd.

Frankel R. M., & Devers, K. J. (2000) Study Design in Qualitative Research—1: Developing Questions and Assessing Resource Needs, Education for Health, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2000, p. 251–261.

Howe, K., & Eisenhar, M. (1990) Standards for Qualitative and Quantitative Research: A Prolegomenon: Educational Researcher, 19, (9), p.2-9

Neill, J. (2007) Qualitative versus Quantitative Research: Key Points in a Classic Debate [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29 June 2011].

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research (2011) [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29 June 2011].

Ramanathan, M. (2006) Ethics in Quantitative Research Methods [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29 June 2011].

Thomas, R. M. (2003) Blending qualitative & quantitative research methods in theses and dissertations, USA: Corwin Press.


  1. Hi,

    Market research plays a major part in the success of your business and determines how you can surpass your competitors. Quantitative research is about measuring and assigning numbers to a market, such as growth rates, market size, penetration, market share, etc. It is also used to measure attitudes, commitment, customer satisfaction, etc. Quantitative research is widely used to track market metrics and data that can be used in business planning and process. Research of this type basically includes web-based surveys, research conducted over the telephone, face-to-face or postal methods. Thanks...

  1. Thank you for this information. It is very helpful!

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