Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

Qualitative and Quantitative data is used to help develop new ideas and insights on mass media. Qualitative research is described as “ideas or evidence drawn from personal observations, interviews, or texts that is augmented by the researchers own ideas and logic.” Quantitative data is “based on hypotheses and research designs yielding numerically stated values of observed data.” (Rosenberry & Vicker, 2017). Both of these research methods are how we obtain our knowledge of advancements in mass communication.

After browsing through the database of articles, I came across an article that details the use of quantitative research by analyzing the social media behaviors of healthcare professionals. This article describes how the study was created to understand the factors of have healthcare professionals utilize social media and the underlying behaviors such as exchanging medical information with peers and productivity enhancement. The method used to conduct this research was a survey sent to 973 healthcare professionals through social media and received 203 results that were thoroughly analyzed. The results showed that WhatsApp had the highest user rate amongst these professionals and showed how they use this platform to stay connected with colleagues and exchange peer medical information. Overall, this shows how the method of survey was used to answer the question of whether or not social media is beneficial for healthcare professionals and their behaviors affect their work.

Looking at qualitative research, I came across a similar article that discusses young adult female’s perceptions of high risk social media behaviors. This study was performed using a focus group of 14 young females around the college age and in college towns. The findings included predominate culture, risk, and prevention. Meaning, these females thought social media usage increased because “everyone was getting it,” they feared what could happen on social media, and discussed prevention methods. This shows the use of qualitative research and how it was successful in finding the data needed to answer the questions provided.

In conclusion, we can see how both methods of research are used to help us better understand the media and the fast-developing world around us. I found the qualitative method was more clear than quantitative because of the thorough information provided about the focus group, the demographics of each participant, and the results. The use of both of these methods together will help give us precise and insightful information on any hypothesis being tested.

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