Qualitative Research – Philosophical Dimension
Scientific Research is defined with qualitative and quantitative terms. Earlier, quantitative research, i.e., based on numerics and methods, was the only one used for scientific research. Qualitative research refers to market research, where data is obtained by understanding people’s beliefs, attitudes, experiences, and behavioral patterns. The information is non-numerical and is gaining much more attention lately than quantitative research.
However, qualitative research is less accurate than quantitative. Still, qualitative research adds a philosophical dimension to studies that are impossible with the measurement of variables alone.
As an essential part of psychological studies, earlier, qualitative research only had usage in examining human behavior, as measuring a human emotion in numerical or methodical terms does not present accurate results. And now, not only for psychological research, but Qualitative Research now has uses in nearly every field. For example, a clinical trial focused on methodical terms, but with the addition of qualitative terms, the problems present extensive data.
We complete the qualitative research by measuring the social parameters and numerical analysis. The researcher and the subjects are very active in the experiment and become an essential part of the study. It guarantees a more accurate and extensive result and indicates a good relationship between the subject and the researcher.
Qualitative research methods include qualitative observation, case study research, focus groups, ethnographic research, record keeping, and one-on-one interviews.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Qualitative Research
Let’s look at a few advantages and disadvantages of Qualitative Research based on market analysis.
- Qualitative research can be a great way to understand the changing behavioral patterns of a specific group in a situation. Human behavioral patterns vary from person to person, and qualitative research can help researchers understand these changing patterns. It can change the business/clinical trial and help them better understand consumer needs.
- Each study produces a unique output, and researchers are not limited to numerical results or quantitative research. If researchers’ expectations are unmet, they can still benefit from the work as a new idea, which can also benefit the consumers/subjects. But, if the results are not as per the researcher’s expectations, they use this to question the process, which makes them
- It allows the researchers to have a more extensive experiment, allowing them to speculate about everything in the area they choose to experiment.
- Qualitative research saves a lot of money as the smaller samples collected can help determine the future of the product/service. It also reduces a lot of research costs.
- Qualitative research might save money, but it is time-consuming. Collecting individual samples takes up a lot of time and can require multiple sessions to have a clear picture. Not only is collecting data time-consuming but sorting through the data and landing at a conclusion is lengthy. But if the organization wants a bigger sample size, that may also be quite expensive.
- This research is not fully accurate, as there is a chance that the subjects one chooses for sampling are of like mind, which is a disadvantage for people who do not think like the subjects. For example, a group prefers winter over summer, and 90% of this group participates during the sampling. As the majority votes will take, the results would look biased towards the majority.
- Not only can the results come out biased, but there can also be a chance of a biased researcher, resulting in manipulations in the output. It does not have to be an intentional manipulation but can also be subconscious.
- The research does not provide certainty as the quantitative research shows in the form of numbers. Due to several individual perspectives, it becomes difficult to land at a conclusion or understanding. There can be innumerable answers to the questions, which leads to confusion and an incomprehension of the sampling.
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