Qualitative research is primarily an exploratory type of research used to approach the subject in a way that leads to the understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It’s essential to be aware of the difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods, as the two cannot be used interchangeably.
As opposed to quantitative research, qualitative research provides researchers with deeper insights into a problem. These methods are used to uncover trends and relationships, and widely explore the problem rather than just summing it up in numbers and labels. Whereas exemplary quantitative research is used to quantify the problem with numerical data utilizes these data to formulate facts and uncover patterns, qualitative methods are used to help researchers describe and explain a specific phenomenon.
Qualitative methods have less of a structure compared to quantitative methods. They comprise of mainly unstructured or semi-structured research procedures such as:
- Focus groups (group discussions)
- Individual interviews
- Record keeping
- Ethnographic research
- Case study research
The sample size of qualitative research is typically small and respondents are carefully selected to fulfill a given quota.
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