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Differentiating Between Qualitative & Quantitative Discussion Post

Juliete Misas Hernandez, RN

NUR 611

There are different types of research methods that may be employed to conduct a research project. These include qualitative research method and quantitative research methods both of which collect data for the purpose of research, but the methods used to collect the data differ from one another. One way in which qualitative and quantitative research methods differ is that a quantitative research study will use numerical data, data which can be measured. While a qualitative research method will use personal experiences or documentation that explain how people feel, think, or respond to a researchable problem. “Qualitative research is descriptive. The data collected take the form of words or pictures rather than numbers. The written results of the research contain quotations from the data to illustrate and substantiate the presentation. The data include interview transcripts, fieldnotes, photographs, videotapes, personal documents, memos, and other official records” (Qualitative Research for Education – Buffalo State College, pg.5, 2022)

Depending on the topic of knowledge trying to be gained from a research study will determine the type of preferably research method to employee in the study either that be quantitative dealing with numbers and statistics versus qualitative dealing with words and meanings. “Qualitative research is the systematic inquiry into social phenomena in natural settings. These phenomena can include, but are not limited to, how people experience aspects of their lives, how individuals and/or groups behave, how organizations function, and how interactions shape relationships” (Teherani et al., 2015). Qualitative research aims to understand concepts, thoughts, or experiences, which may be accomplished using interviews with open-ended questions, observations described in words, and literature reviews. In contrast, when using quantitative methods, they researcher may want to test or confirm with a particular theory or with an assumption to establish a generalizable fact. Such type of research is composed of experiments, observations recordings, and surveys with closed-ended questions.

In conclusion, the research may decide to use quantitative research methods if they are wanting to confirm or test something such as a theory or a hypothesis. Thus, in contrast researcher may choose to use a qualitative research method if they are looking to understand a concepts, thought, or even an experience. Depending on the type of methods chosen to conduct their research topic will depend on the way in which they collect and use the data obtain from their research studies. The research may consider what their goals are, the objective of their research as well as the research question to determine which type of research method to use. The research must determine whether they want quantitative data versus qualitative data as well as the duration of the study and the sample size within their decision of which research method to use in their research study.


Teherani, A., Martimianakis, T., Stenfors-Hayes, T., Wadhwa, A., & Varpio, L. (2015, December).

Choosing a qualitative research approach

. Journal of graduate medical education. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from


Qualitative Research for Education – Buffalo State College

. (n.d.). Retrieved July 18, 2022, from


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