Why Qualitative Research Matters

DR SHRUTHIKA N
Blog
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24 November, 2023

Qualitative research refers to a research method that is used to gain an in-depth understanding of human behavior and experiences. The method uses non-numerical data such as interviews, observations, and focus groups to uncover insights, attitudes, and perceptions on a particular social phenomenon. While quantitative research has long been favored in academic and professional circles, qualitative research is gaining traction due to its unique benefits. In this article, we explore why qualitative research is important.

  • Human Behavior

Qualitative research is particularly useful when studying human behavior and emotions. This method allows researchers to uncover the experiences, attitudes, and behaviors of participants in relation to a particular topic. In contrast, quantitative research is often limited in uncovering the nuances and subtleties that are common in human behavior. Qualitative research is particularly useful in uncovering the stories and narratives that underlie human experience.

  • New Knowledge

Qualitative research often leads to unexpected insights that have the potential to drive new knowledge. Qualitative research enables researchers to study topics in a holistic manner, and it is common for new information to emerge that was not initially anticipated. Given that this method is exploratory and open to new insights, it creates opportunities for new discoveries and breakthroughs.

  • It Provides a Personalized Perspective

Qualitative research enables researchers to study topics from a personalized perspective. Through qualitative data collection methods such as interviews, researchers are able to gather insights that are unique to each participant. This method is particularly useful when studying topics that are subjective in nature, such as mental health.

  • It Improves the Quality of Quantitative Research

While qualitative research can be conducted in isolation, it is often used in conjunction with quantitative research. Qualitative research can provide valuable insights that can be further analyzed quantitatively. For example, the insights uncovered in a qualitative study can inform the development of surveys that can be used to gather quantitative data.

  • It can Lead to Policy Change

Qualitative research is useful in generating evidence that can be used by policymakers to inform decisions. Through qualitative research, researchers can uncover the experiences and perspectives of individuals who are affected by particular policies. The insights that are generated can be used to guide the development of policies that better serve the needs of individuals.

In conclusion, qualitative research is an important method of gathering data that has unique benefits. This approach provides a rich understanding of human experiences, generates insights that can lead to new knowledge and policy change, and improves the quality of quantitative research. As such, qualitative research is an essential part of the research process for those seeking to gain a better understanding of the complex social phenomena that make up our world.

Dr Shruthika N
Associate Professor

UniAthena

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