Research Studies Quantitative vs. Qualitative

USM Basics of Research Literature

Researchers conducting empirical studies use qualitative or quantitative analyses or a mix of the two to ascertain their data:

  • Quantitative - research that has a measured value or statistically valid results (quantity). Some methods of quantitative data collection are:
    • Likert scale/rating scale
    • counts
    • sizes
    • task times
  • Qualitative - research that is concerned more with meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, or descriptions than with measurement (quality). Qualitative research is more subjective than quantitative research. Some methods of qualitative data collection are:
    • attitudinal responses
    • case studies
    • in-depth interviews
    • direct observations
    • focus groups