The purpose of this study is to examine this classic debate, discussing the various claims and the arguments made on both sides. The paper ends with a brief conclusion based on the material reviewed.
According to Creswell (153-178) quantitative research is research that uses empirical methods; this means that the phenomenon or variables observed are represented in objective and measurable ways such as through the collection of numeric data and statistical analysis. In the classic debate, authors have referred to these methods as 'positivist,' a label which associates them with the philosophical view that explanations must be empirically verifiable (Wildemuth 450-468).
Qualitative research, on the other hand, is not strictly empirical; rather it utilizes research methods which seek insights through loosely structured and non-numerical data (Creswell 179-207). This research approach is referred to as interpretative because interpreting the data in a meaningful way is the aim of qualitative methods and analyses (Creswell 179-180).
According to Siegle (1), the crucial claim of advocates of both qualitative and quantitative methods is that their research methods produce findings that are valid, and that they both offer arguments in favor of their differing views. Siegle (1) lists the arguments supporting this claim for qualitative research. In brief, qualitative research is said to yield more valid findings about phe