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Jaanvi Shah
Mr. Robey
January 2018
1010 words
      Why do many people often seem to trust quantitative (numerical or statistical) information more than qualitative information? To what extent are they correct to do so? Include examples from a variety of areas of knowledge.

      Quantitative information is defined as measuring a quantity or amount. For example, “I ran 10 kilometers today.” That is an example of quantitative data. Quantitative data is always measured through numbers and the method is done through statistical procedures, and so whenever measurement units are used, it is a part of quantitative data. Whereas, qualitative data is not expressed through numbers because it is represented through nominal scales, scales which are not measured but classified into to separate categories. The data is most of the time assigned through categories. For example, people’s eye colors, sound of the rain, is a part of qualitative data. All these examples have one thing in common. They are not numerical; it is part of the qualitative data. The difference between quantitative and quantitative and qualitative is that quantitative data is like the breadth and qualitative is more like the breadth.
      One of the main reasons why people often seem to trust quantitative information more than qualitative information is because the result of quantitative research is given as a numerical value. For example, as I previously mentioned in my last paragraph, ten kilometers would be a quantitative value. Another example of a quantitative result would be “20% of the people are democratic”. Quantitative data is easier to understand, as the motive of a quantitative research is answer the hypothesis. By interpreting the data through numerical values or statistics, it makes it easier for people to understand the data compared to qualitative data which is much more difficult to understand. Another reason why people trust quantitative information is because the data is not only represented through numerical values but also expressed through graphs, tables, and experiments.     

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Whereas qualitative research cannot be measured as it’s research and data is based on people’s opinions and feelings. For example, qualitative information would be “why are the 20% of the people democratic?” As quantitative information is numerical, there is not a lot of bias as well because you would still get the same numbers in every single experiment. However, in qualitative research there is more bias because numbers does not represent the data. If different people were to look at the data, they would interpret it differently because the data is not numerical. It is easier for people to understand this data because the numbers can easily be converted to statistical data. As quantitative information is statistical, correlations can also be created through that. For example, the correlation between GDP and Life expectancy rate is collected because of quantitative data. 

      Qualitative information is more difficult to analyze as it variates as well. For example, if your experiment were based on whether overeating of chips causes weight gain, your result would be the same as there would be a percentage or numerical value to prove that. Every experiment’s result would be pretty close. Whereas qualitative data would be more variant the research is not based on a numerical value. Another example would be how 60 out of 100 people like to drink Coca-Cola. That is part of quantitative data. Qualitative data would be “Why do the other 40 people not like Coca-Cola?” or “What should they do to make their drink better?”. Qualitative information would research more on the “What”, the “Why”, the “Where”, the “Who”, and the “How”. Quantitative research depends more on verbal data rather than numerical data. At times this is not reliable because verbal data is dependent not the person who is interviewed’s mood and personality. Sometimes the respondents could give wrong information as well because they might want to say what the researcher wants to hear. Qualitative researchers usually collect data and interpret it when they consider their data to be large or deep enough.

  Although quantitative information is easier to understand, people trusting quantitative information is not correct to a certain extent because both quantitative information and qualitative information are important. Although you get numerical values in a quantitative experiment, it is never informed on how many people are old, middle-aged, men, or women because that is part of qualitative data. If students were asked to answer in “Yes” or “No” on was the test hard? Quantitative data would show that for example, 70% of the students found the test easy, while 30% of the students found the test hard, but qualitative research would ask question such as “did you study for the test?” or “How could the teacher improve?” or “What could you do better to get a better score?” It is clear that when you have both qualitative information and quantitative information more information can be gathered. Both provide knowledge which is why they should be used together. If you to look at qualitative information only you would be subjected to bias and would be far from the reality, but it is really useful if the research is merged with quantitative information it can help by providing information on the context and the people. 

      So in conclusion, people often trust quantitive information more than quantitative information because it’s data is numerical and it answers the hypothesis directly. While, qualitative data is more difficult to analyze and comprehend because the interviewer or the researcher has the ability to know what people prefer quantitative data. Qualitative data is harder to understand, as it is all related to people’s opinions, feelings, and emotions. As qualitative data is more descriptive it can turn out o see research through another point of view as you might not be able to see that through quantitative data. Although people trust quantitative information it is better to use both quantitative research and qualitative research as both types of research could complement each other.


DeVault, Gigi. “Choosing Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods.” The Balance, www.thebalance.com/choosing-between-qualitative-and-quantitative-methods-2297137.

2011-2017, (c) Copyright skillsyouneed.com. “Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods.” SkillsYouNeed, www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/quantitative-and-qualitative.html.

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