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Qualitative and Quantitative Research

            A strong debate within the field of psychology, and that of the social sciences more generally, has existed almost as long as the field itself; qualitative versus quantitative research methods. Research is presented as distinctly qualitative or quantitative, with some attempts at an integrative approach [ CITATION Sec95 l 3081 f "see " m Yan06 ]. Other research has attempted to clarify the definitions of each method. It is of little value to research to establish a 'better' kind of method; rather, clearer instructions for how to employ various research methods to deliver unbiased and ethical research are needed for the social sciences. Rather than simply commentate on the two research methods, this paper aims to compare and contrast quantitative and qualitative research methods. A brief overview of qualitative and quantitative research methods will be followed by a comparison between the two approaches and a demonstration of how various research techniques are used in either a qualitative or quantitative capacity, as well as the appropriate use of data. Finally, the discussion will explore the issues surrounding the ethics of the two methods. This essay aims to demonstrate that both research methods provide invaluable and insightful information for the social sciences, and that no method is better than the other.
             "Research is a way of going about finding answers to questions" [CITATION Neu06 p 2 t l 3081 ]. Once an area of inquiry has been defined, a researcher sets about finding answers in order to learn something about the social world. The information which they present usually falls under quantitative or qualitative research; the steps taken in conducting the research differ between the two approaches. Quantitative research involves a narrow research question with specific parameters that determine the hypothesis. It delivers scientific data relating to the hypothesis, usually expressed as numbers, frequencies, scores etc.

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