Essay - A Critical Evaluation of the Merits and Shortcomings of Qualitative...

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A Critical Evaluation of the Merits and Shortcomings of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Techniques and Procedures


Ancient mankind was faced with at least one of the same problems confronting modern social researchers: selecting the right tool for the ***** job. In fact, there is a vast array ***** methodologies available for virtually any type of research project today, but some of these will clearly be superior to others. One of the first decisions a researcher ***** be required to make in determining which approach is *****st suited ***** a given *****, though, involves ***** decision *****s ***** whether to use a qualitative or quantitative analytical approach. Both of these techniques have some attri*****es that make them appropriate for certain research applications, and in some cases researchers even use them both to maximize their return on ***** research resources. Nevertheless, in many cases, a qu*****litative or quantitative analysis is the perfect fit for a given ***** *****pic, but knowing the difference in ***** ***** is required, *****s well as when they should be use separately or ***** combination with each other ***** another research methodology. To this end, this paper provides a critical evaluation of the merits and shortcomings of qualitative and quantitative research techniques ***** procedures, followed by a summ*****ry of ***** ***** and salient findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

Background ***** Overview.

There has been a good de*****l ***** attention paid to research and those who conduct it in recent years, but the debate over qual*****ative versus quantitative research techniques is certainly not new. In this regard, Goodson and Phillimore emphasize that, "The quantitative versus qualitative debate has a long history in social science research" (p. 42). To some extent, the debate over the superiority of qualitative versus ***** research relates to how the various attributes of ***** technique are perceived by its adherents, and how ***** weaknesses and constra*****ts of each are viewed by its critics. In ***** regard, Crowley (1994) reports that, "Some researchers argue that qualitative research is unscientific and ***** quantitative methods remain the methods of choice for serious-minded, social-science *****. These researchers deny the value ***** any method that departs from traditional quantitative methodologies. For others, only qualitative methods yield data of interest and worth. Though this ***** seems to be waning in recent years, remnants of it remain" (*****, p. 65). Likewise, Benz and Newman (1998) maintain ***** the ***** of one research methodology may be *****referable to researchers ***** purely subjective reasons: "The debate between qualitative and ***** researchers is based upon the differences in assumptions about what reality is ***** whether or not it is measurable. The debate further rests on differences of opinion ***** ***** we can best understand what we 'know,' whether through objective ***** ***** methods" (p. 2).

***** lengthy his*****ry of controversy ***** added some fuel to the current fires over ***** research technique is superior and why, especially during a period in history where so much information has now become available for *****


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