I am seriously starting to confuse myself-can someone help me out there?
So, I am in Research and we are writing a research critique paper on a selected journal article. I already picked my article, and definitely don't want to change it now, but am really starting to question and second guess myself as to whether it is a quantitative study or a qualitative study. I won't post all the details, but here is where I am confused...
This study is basically a profile of a certain type of nursing student. There are four research questions, the students were surveyed and results are of numeric value. All of this would lead me to describe it as a quantitative study....BUT....
The survey sent out was, as the study quotes, qualitative with open ended questions. The report itself has a ton of quotes too. These parts make me question myself and chock it up to a qualitative study. And it stinks because the more I read my text, the more things I find in the report that pull me one direction or another.
I am leaning towards the fact that this is a descriptive quantitative study...maybe slightly mixed method because of the quotes thrown in?
Does anyone have any advice? I have searched and searched, and I just seem to be getting more confused.
Nov 1, '07
It sounds to me as if it is a study of mixed design -- or at least that's what the authors may have intended it to be. As you have realized, a single study may have both qualitative elements and quantitative elements.
Also, just because an article is published and/or the author has an advanced degree doesn't guarantee that the researcher really did a good job. Sometimes, people who do research don't do such a great job. They get sloppy ... or they don't themselves understand all the methods they are using ... etc. For example: they will THINK they are doing a qualitative study because they ask open-ended question. But then they turn it into a quantitative study by not using qualitative methods to analyze the responses: they use quantitative methods and just count the number of times that specific responses were given. That might be the case with your article.
Does that help any?
Nov 1, '07
Yes, that does clear some of the fog
I feel like the more times I read this thing, the more torn I get about what it really is! And in reality, in my critique I don't have to answer whether it is one or the other. For me, I just would like to know so I can feel like I understand this stuff.
Thanks!! And any more insight is greatly appreciated!
Nov 2, '07
I've officially confused myself beyond comprehension with this darn research study!! If you were reading a study that is basically a profile of nursing students which categorizes them demographically and also uses descriptive statistics to describe their experience would you assume it was a quantitative study? My problem is that the survey they sent out collected qualitative data!?! Is it mixed method in that case? I asked my professor, but the response I got has confused me even more....
I feel like I am lost somewhere between total confusion and critical thinking (maybe that last part is wishful thinking, huh?)
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