Conjoined : Qualitative and Quantitative Research in Psych

Before I got drowned amongst book piles in my room, I decided to write this down. It is about research method in Psychology. I never imagined that I will write about this subject in my blog. But, try to read and write down your comment…

Psychology is one of social studies that used Quantitative method to collect research data (beside Qualitative). It has been known that all the experts and scientists in this area are familiar with SPSS (for you, who do not know what program is this, check that out for yourself). I’m still trying to fix up my scattered brain after exams to be able to operate this program well. I have two main problems (1) how to choose the correct method to analyze certain cases and then (2) interpret the results. I guess that’s everyone else’s problems too!

So, the debate between quantitative and qualitative research is still in progress. Some agree to use numbers to explain about social phenomenon, while others are disagree. People as part of social phenomenon can’t be easily translated into numbers, because of our complexity. Yes, people are complex and it won’t be easy to put numbers on us. But, many of the researches in psych field are quantitative. They are using quantitative data, such as from questionnaire, self-report, etc. Slowly but sure, qualitative is started to steal the heart of the psych researchers. Even though the coding and data analyzing is still at the open state for further revision.

The opinion that I heard lately is tendency to combine both methods in psych researches. It’s a good news! Because it means that experts in psych field are now able to gain generalized information (through quantitative data) and deep understanding of one’s phenomena (through in-depth interview). What a solution!

To be honest, in some researches, quantitative is the best way to collect data, such as in a research about single parents in certain area. It won’t be easy to do one-by-one interview! On the other hand, some researches need qualitative methods to collect the data, such as in a research about victims of sexual abuse.

The choice is in our hands… which method is best for you according to your research purpose, data types, your capabilities and the depth of the research.

Keep it up!