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Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A guide to BSN resources from the EFSC Libraries

What's the difference? Quantiative Research vs. Qualitative Research

Research studies can fall into two categories, quantitative and qualitative. This chart highlights the differences between each type.

Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research

Observes effects of a problem

Problem studied can be accurately measured

Tests theory
Studies cause and effect
Includes statistical analysis

Can be experimental or non-experimental

Also known as empirical research

Describes a problem and gives it meaning
Problem studied is impossible to accurately or precisely measure
Develops theory
Studies meaning and discovery
Includes narrative analysis

Video: Empirical Studies: Qualitative vs. Quantitative

This video from USU Libraries walks you through the differences between quantitative and qualitative research methods. (5:51 minutes) Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)