UGC NET Paper-1: Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research


Difference with respect to Quantitative Research Qualitative Research
Underpinning Philosophy Rationalism Empiricism 
Approach to enquiry Structured/ Rigid/ Pre-determined methodology  Unstructured/ Flexible/ Open Methodology 
Main purpose of investigation To quantify extent of variation in a phenomena, situation, issue etc To describe variation in a phenomena, situation, issue etc
Measurement of variables Emphasis on some form of either measurement of, or classification of variables  Emphasis on description of variables
Sample size Emphasis on greater sample size Fewer cases
Focus of enquiry Narrows focus in terms of extent of enquiry, but assembles information from greater number of respondents Covers multiple issues but assembles required information from fewer respondents 
Dominant research value Reliability and objectivity (value free) Authenticity but does not claim to be value free. 
Dominant research topic Explains prevalence, incidence, extent, nature of issues, opinions and attitudes; discovers regularities and formulates theories   Explores experiences, meanings, perceptions and feelings 
Analysis of Data Subject variables to frequency distributions, cross-tabulations or other statistical procedures Subject responses, narratives, or observational data to identification of themes and describes these.
Communication of findings Organisation more analytical in nature, drawing inferences and conclusions, and testing magnitude and strength of a relation  Organisation more descriptive and narrative in nature



  1. Research Methodology-Methods and Techniques by C.R. Kothari, New Age International (P) Limited, Publishers, ISBN (13) : 978-81-224-2488-1
  2. Research Methodology- a step-by-step guide for beginners by Ranjit Kumar , SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, ISBN 978-1-84920-300-5, ISBN 978-1-84920-301-2 (pbk)


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