living and learning

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Quantitative vs Qualitative

Three things I learnt today:

1) Quantitative data can include all sorts of things, not just the obvious 'data-looking data'. (Thank you Charlie for reminding me this!) Questionnaire data for example can be translated into numbers and analysed with statistics.

2) Choosing the right research method can be a minefield. We frequently misunderstand the distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods (as demonstrated above, aargh) and tend to think of them as equally legitimate ways of approaching a question, when in reality they have entirely different purposes. A neat example: psycho-social adversity & asthma morbidity and care. Quantitative research would best address how the two are related, while qualitative research would best address 'narratives of illness in which "causes" and "associations" work as rhetorical moves', whatever that means.(Silverman, 2007)

3) The first rule of ice skating: let go of the railings:)


Post a Comment

  ·  Back To Top  ·  Editor's Pick