What Is The Differentiate Quantitative Observation?


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Iris Phillips answered
Scientific research consists to a great deal of observation, which is divided into two major categories, namely quantitative and qualitative observation. Both categories have a firm place within research and more often than not, both are combined in order to achieve the most comprehensive result possible. For some types of research qualitative observation is the most suitable option, whereas other types are better served through quantitative observation. To differentiate quantitative from qualitative observation, one has to first of all understand both terms.

  • Quantitative Observation
This type of research uses methods and tools which allow measurements or numbers to be used in order to quantify results in an objective way. It can be employed in just about all areas of scientific research, although it is less commonly used within social sciences, where behavior is observed. Quantitative observation is therefore the observation of anything that can in some way be measured.

  • Qualitative Observation
Studies concerning animal or human behavior are some of the most common examples of qualitative observation. This type of observation is generally fairly subjective, as it depends on the collecting of information which is not easily quantifiable. Research into human behavior, for example, is generally performed through interviews, passive and participant observation. Social scientists, psychologists and sociologists have to rely mostly on qualitative observation, as most of what is studied or observed can not be measured or quantified in any way.

  • Points of Difference
The factors differentiating quantitative observation (QuantOb)from qualitative observation (QualOb) are therefore:

  • QuantOb has measurable results, QualOb results are not easily quantified.
  • QuantOb is objective, QualOb is subjective.
  • QuantOb is analyzed after data collection; QualOb is continually analyzed       during the gathering of data.
  • QuantOb is generally performed in a controlled laboratory setting; QualOb is  mostly performed in the shape of field observations within natural settings.

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