quantitative research is mainly concerned with the degree in which phenomena possess certain properties, states and characters, and the similarities, differences and causal relations that exist within and between these. It is usually based on theoretical or empirical considerations and quantifying phenomena. Qualitative research is concerned with the properties, the state and the character. The word qualitative implies an emphasis on processes and meanings that are rigorously examined, but not measured in terms of quantity, amount or frequency. Qualitative methods produce a wealth of detailed data about a much smaller number of people and cases. Qualitative data provide depth and detail through direct quotation and careful description of situations, events, interactions and observed behaviours. Qualitative methods consist of three kinds of data collection: In-dept, open-ended interviews;Direct observation; and Written documents, including such sources as open-ended written items on questionnaires and personal diaries a. their speaking or writing, b. their other behaviors, c. their other products -- technology, artwork, footprints, etc. hile reducing everything to numbers may be justified in the physical sciences, doing the same to human experience seems to dismiss the other, non-quantitative dimensions of that experience. How do you quantify meaning, for example, or love, or anger, or confusion? You can describe the Grand Canyon using only numbers.
After reading these two articles i would have to say that in my own best words the definition of qualitative research is the research beyond the numbers. What makes people act the way they do. What do people think when they are making certian actions and how do they respond to certian situations. Anything that numbers and statisitcs cannot prove qualifies as basic qualitative research but beyond that it can fall in many different catagories.