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Types of Research: Qualitative


Qualitative research delves into the world of understanding experiences, meanings, and phenomena. Qualitative research uses non-numerical data like text, images, or videos.

Here's a breakdown of qualitative research:

  • Focus on "why" and "how": Qualitative research aims to understand the "why" and "how" behind people's experiences, perceptions, and behaviors. It provides rich descriptions and insights into complex social realities.
  • Non-numerical data: Data is collected through methods like interviews, focus groups, observations (observational studies), document analysis, and audio recordings.
  • Smaller, targeted samples: Qualitative research often involves smaller, purposive samples chosen for their specific experiences or insights on the topic.
  • Interpretive analysis: Researchers analyze the data through a thematic approach, identifying recurring patterns and making interpretations based on their findings.


Some examples of research questions that might be addressed using qualitative methods include:

  • How do teachers cope with the challenges of online learning?
  • What are the lived experiences of people with chronic illness?
  • How do people navigate feelings of grief and loss after a loved one's death?

By providing in-depth understanding of human experiences, qualitative research offers valuable insights that can complement quantitative findings and provide a more holistic picture of a phenomenon.