Differences Between
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

Qualitative Methods Quantitative Methods
Methods include focus groups, in-depth interviews, and reviews Surveys
Primarily inductive process used to formulate theory Primarily deductive process used to test pre-specified concepts, constructs, and hypotheses that make up a theory
More subjective: describes a problem or condition from the point of view of those experiencing it More objective: provides observed effects (interpreted by researchers) of a program on a problem or condition
Text-based Number-based
More in-depth information on a few cases Less in-depth but more breadth of information across a large number of cases
Unstructured or semi-structured response options Fixed response options
No statistical tests Statistical tests are used for analysis
Can be valid and reliable: largely depends on skill and rigor of the researcher Can be valid and reliable: largely depends on the measurement device or instrument used
Time expenditure lighter on the planning end and heavier during the analysis phase Time expenditure heavier on the planning phase and lighter on the analysis phase
Less generalizable More generalizable