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Criminal Justice Research 6216
Discussion – Week 8
Overview of Quantitative Research
It is very easy to couch quantitative and qualitative data in the following manner: Quantitative research is objective; qualitative research is subjective. This is an oversimplification, but quantitative research measures what is assumed to be a static reality in hopes of developing universal laws or generalizing data findings to other situations or populations. By contrast, the qualitative research that you explored in previous weeks is an exploration of what is assumed to be a dynamic reality. Qualitative research does not claim that what is discovered in the process is universal and, thus, replicable.Quantitative research, then, involves gathering data that is absolute, such as numerical data, so that it can be examined in as unbiased a manner as possible. In order to statistically analyze data, variables must be defined and the relationships between them must be determined. A dependent variable is the outcome variable. An independent variable is what the researcher thinks will cause a variation in the dependent variable. For instance, if you want to determine the relationship that drug use has on educational attainment, educational attainment would be the dependent variable and drug use would be the independent variable.For this Discussion, think of a study idea for which it would be necessary to implement quantitative research. Consider what the dependent and independent variables would be. Finally, consider advantages and disadvantages, in general, of using quantitative research versus qualitative research.With these thoughts in mind:
a brief description of your quantitative study, including the dependent and independent variables. Explain how you would conceptualize and measure the dependent variable. Then explain why a quantitative approach would be more advantageous than a qualitative approach for this study. Finally, explain advantages and disadvantages of using quantitative research versus qualitative research.
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