The Benefits of Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research Persuasive Essay by Nicky

An argument on the advantages of qualitative research over quantitative methods of research.
# 151307 | 1,609 words | 4 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on May 31, 2012 in Research Designs (General)

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The paper looks at the tools of qualitative research and uses Margaret Mead's work, "Coming of Age in Samoa", as an example of how qualitative research can be conducted. The paper discusses the ability of qualitative research to reveal the unexpected and to highlight the dichotomy between what people say they want and what people actually want. The paper also explains the importance of observing humans in their natural context and the limitation of quantitative research in providing a narrow focus. The paper concludes that quantitative data may reflect reality, but qualitative data, by studying human life, can provide better clues about what people secretly desire, and what they will aspire to in the future.

From the Paper:

"One of the criticisms of the infamous Stanley Milgram shock experiments, which correlated obedience with a variety of types of social pressures exerted by researchers, was that it created artificial circumstances for the individuals in question that did not really mimic what the researchers actually desired to find, namely how human beings could commit atrocities in real life. A qualitative ethnographer would state that doing the 'leg work' to interview war criminals and to live amongst the people who condoned such atrocities in Germany would have been a more illuminating experience. That is why it is said that "past researchers have not been able to derive meaning...from experimental research... The research techniques themselves, in experimental research, [can]...affect the findings. The lab, the questionnaire, and so on, [can]...become artifacts. Subjects [can become]...either suspicious and wary, or they [can become]...aware of what the researchers want and try to please them" (Marshall & Rossman, 1980). The explanations of what is going through people's minds when they behave in a certain fashion are lost in measurable approaches that take people out of the naturally conflicted environment of real life, where multiple influences are always present."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Marshall, C., & Rossman, G. Designing qualitative research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1980. Excerpt available October 17, 2009 at
  • Mead, Margaret. Coming of Age in Samoa. New York: Harper Perennial, 1971.
  • Neill, James. (2006, July 5). Qualitative Analysis of Professional Literature. Class 6: Qualitative Research I. July 5, 2006. October 17, 2009.
  • Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. New York: Harper Perennial, 2002.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

The Benefits of Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research (2012, May 31) Retrieved February 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

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