What Is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research usually entails fieldwork in which researchers focus on processes rather than on outcomes; this type of research does not need a hypothesis. Some examples of qualitative research are researchers studying children in school, conducting shopper interviews, doing focus groups and immersing themselves into an experience or group.

While qualitative research can be deep and flexible, it is subjective and does not allow for statistical outcomes or the best reliability. Quantitative research, on the other hand, needs a hypothesis before it can start, and the method of data gathering can be designed to allow for statistical outcomes and percentages. Examples of quantitative research include experiments and surveys.