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Empirical Studies - Qualitative VS Quantitative

Categories of Research Methods

Qualitative Methods - Involve a researcher describing kinds of characteristics of people and events. Qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them. Examples of qualitative research include:

  • Interviews
  • Focus group
  • Case Studies
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Narrative Inquiry

Quantitative Methods - Focus attention on measurements and amounts (more and less, larger and smaller, often and seldom, similar and different) of the characteristics displayed by the people and events that the researcher studies. Examples of qualitative research include:

  • Questionnaire
  • Surveys
  • Discourse analysis
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Mathematical modeling

Mixed Methods - Involve collecting, analyzing and mixing both qualitative and quantitative data in a single study or a series of studies.

Suggested Keywords/Subject Terms

Use these terms when searching in the library databases to locate qualitative, quantitative or mixed study research articles.


  • Qualitative research or analysis or study
  • Case study
  • Ethnography
  • Grounded Theory
  • Narrative
  • Interview


  • Quantitative research or analysis or study
  • Questionnaire
  • Surveys
  • Chi Square
  • Data
  • Statistical
  • Reliability
  • Variable
  • Experiment
  • Validity

Additional Terms:

  • Mixed-methods
  • Research
  • Empirical Research
  • Phenomenological Research
  • Sampling