What is the Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Observations?

What is Qualitative Observation? How can You Identify Qualitative Research? What makes Research Quantitative? Can you Distinguish Qualitative and Quantitative Observations?

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression Quality over Quantity a lot. Quality and quantity are two concepts that are frequently encountered in everyday life. The primary distinction between quality and quantity is that quality relates to a characteristic or aspect of something, whereas an example of quantitative observation refers to its numerical worth. Quantity is not subjective, however, an example of a qualitative is. It is important to understand what is the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations which you can surely master by going on and keep reading. 

1. What is Qualitative Observation?

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The research process of using subjective approaches to obtain information or data is known as qualitative observation. Because the objective of qualitative observation is to equate quality differences, it takes much more time than quantitative observation, but the sample size employed is significantly smaller, and the research is much more detailed and intimate.

The five major sense organs and their functions addressed in qualitative observation are sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. This is not about measurements or statistics, but about traits. In the next segments we will discuss what is the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations, so read on. (See Why is Quantitative Research Important?)

2. How can You Identify Qualitative Research?

Before learning about what is the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations, take a look at these points to identify qualitative research::

  • The study’s purpose should be to investigate the subjects’ experiences.
  • Open-ended interviews must be conducted by the researchers.
  • When reviewing the interviews, the researchers should apply thematic analysis.

3. What makes a Research Quantitative?

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The following makes the research quantitative:

  • The utilization of quantitative variables.
  • Standardized Research instruments.
  • Participants must be chosen at random.

4. Can you Distinguish Qualitative and Quantitative Observations?

What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations? The distinction between qualitative and qualitative observations includes:

When you use your senses to look at the results, you are making a qualitative observation. (Smell, taste, touch, and hear) Tools like rulers, scales, graduated cylinders, beakers, and thermometers are used to make quantitative observations. We can count on these results.
Qualitative data is personal and changes over time. Quantitative data is fixed and universal.

One example of an objective fact is that something weighs 20 kilograms. But two people may have very several ways of describing what is the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations and how they feel about the same thing. (See How can You measure Temperature?)

5. What is the Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Observations?

Take a look at the following points to know what is the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations:

  • The use of quantitative observation is clear if the data collected includes things like color, numbers, length, height, weight, or temperature. On the other hand, qualitative observations include things like how something is heavy, short, rough, smells, or tastes sweet or sour.
  • If we talk about the marbles on a table and say how many there are, what colors they are, how much they weigh, and how big they are, we are giving data based on quantitative observation. Their roughness and roundness, on the other hand, are examples of qualitative observation.
  • Quantitative data is about numbers, and qualitative observations are about words.
  • The results of qualitative observation can’t be measured, but the results of quantitative observation can be measured.
  • Quantitative observations include things like area, height, weight, temperature, time, and speed. Qualitative observations include things like smell, taste, texture, and color. 

6. What is an Example of a Qualitative?

Open-ended surveys are a good way to find out how people’s preferences or ideas change over time or to find out about their most important experiences. Surveys may use ranked scales like always, sometimes, never, or strongly agree to strongly disagree.

These are helpful tools for not only measuring an example of qualitative information on how people think but also how they act. Leaving room for comments or thoughts gives people a chance to think more deeply, and as we saw with semi-structured interviews, this can help the researchers find ways to change what wasn’t thought of when the program logic was made, but that better explain what happened and why. (See What Graph is Useful for Showing Changes in a Variable?)

7. What are 10 Examples of Qualitative Data?

  • Interviews with Semi Structures: Semi-structured interviews are a type of qualitative data collection tool that lets researchers ask informants questions about a set of predetermined themes but let them answer in any way they want. These are useful tools for qualitative research because they let you use both inductive and deductive reasoning when judging something.
  • Participant diaries or journals: Using diaries or journals, one could use concept maps to map out recurring themes, or, if the researcher already has a theory about the relevant themes, one could do a thematic analysis to see if the described flow from thoughts to motivations to actions matches the theory. Especially in small programs where the research depends on what the participants think and feel.
  • Collections of proof: When judging creative projects like lesson plans in projects to improve pedagogy, seasonal agricultural plans, or school improvement plans, there aren’t clear right and wrong answers, but they can be of high quality. These can be judged by how well they fit a set of key criteria or how well they work in a certain situation. These are good records of your personal and professional growth.
  • Concept Maps: Concept mapping makes it easy to see how the ideas of the informants fit together. This is an example of using deductive reasoning, in which information is gathered and then analyzed to look for patterns. From these patterns, a tentative hypothesis is made and tested, which can then be used to build a theory.
  • Case Studies: These are especially useful when a researcher wants to find out a lot of information. These are in-depth studies that will look at the situation and how much things have changed. If case studies are done in a planned way, they can produce large amounts of data that can be used for qualitative comparative analysis to figure out what is caused when using Boolean algebra.
  • Discussion Groups: Focus groups usually have between 6 and 10 people, and a moderator leads group discussions. In a discussion setting, talking about certain themes can help gather the information that either proves or disproves theories about those themes.
  • Videos and tapes: Qualitative data, especially for narrative or discourse analysis, can be found in video diaries, recordings of interviews, or films of events. This kind of data is most useful when it is part of the program activities or when it is easier to be in the moment than to work with a pen, paper, or screen.
  • Audits of quality: For example, a researcher has looked into what makes an ideal learning environment and wants to do an audit of treatment schools to see what changes should be made to the outcomes targets for each school. An audit like this could look at things like how clean a room is, how to get into a library, or how big a room is.
  • Collections of proof: A portfolio assessment is always a little bit subjective because it is based on qualitative information. Using stricter assessment criteria or more structured and prescribed content would improve inter-rater reliability, but it would destroy the essence of portfolio assessment in terms of flexibility, personal orientation, and authenticity. 

8. What’s an Example of Quantitative Observation?

As you are aware of what is the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations, additionally note that most of us have worried about how long we’ll have to wait to be helped at a bank, hospital, or restaurant. Based on the average time it takes to get served, we can figure out which places we like best and which ones we should avoid like the plague. The example of quantitative observation is measured in minutes, hours, days, or months. (See Why is Observing Patterns Important in Everyday Life?)

9. What are 5 Examples of Quantitative Data?

  • Journey time: If an ambulance needs to get a patient to the hospital quickly, it will want to know the fastest or least crowded way to get there.
  • Keeping an eye on your weight: The number of calories in different foods varies. For instance, fats have more calories than proteins.
  • Taking a temperature: The temperature of the body can be expressed as a number.
  • Taking stock for a business: Items in inventory are checked and written down by hand. It can be measured in terms of dollars or units of the product (e.g., sacks of beans, etc.)
  • A game’s scores: The scoreline shows how many points have been scored so far in a game.

10. What are Some Examples of Quantitative?

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  • A gallon of milk fits in a jug.
  • The width and length of the painting are both 14 inches.
  • Six pounds and five ounces is how much the new baby weighs.
  • Four pounds are in a bag of broccoli crowns.
  • Ten ounces fit in a coffee mug.
  • John is a six-footer.
  • There are 1.5 pounds in a tablet.
  • 98% of high school graduates are going to college.
  • There are 12 girls and 9 boys in a first-grade classroom.
  • The plane has room for 93 people.

11. What’s an Example of a Quantitative?

You have already read what is the difference between qualitative and quantitative observations, let’s add one more example of quantitative data. It is a collection of newspaper articles or political speeches. Must read what does a barometer measure?

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