Ontology, Epistemology and Quantitative vs Qualitative Research

What is Ontology?

A formal identification of concepts and relationships between them within a specific domain of knowledge. An ontology defines a formal vocabulary for identifying such concepts and relationships. In theory an ontology allows shared understanding of the domain and thus improves communication.

What is Epistemology?

Epistemology is the study of knowledge – what it is and how it differs from opinion. Studies the basis for knowledge and how any given body of knowledge is supported by facts and assumptions. Requires that knowledge have a basis that can be justified. Attempts to identify what is truly knowledge and accurately reflects reality.

Quantitative vs Qualitative Research

Quantitative research requires that the researcher have a clear idea of what is being studied before beginning the study. Quantitative research requires a process to be defined before beginning the research and for that process to be followed while gathering and analysing data. Quantitative research involves precise, numerical data. Quantitative research attempts to be objective.

Qualitative research on the other hand does not expect the researcher to have a clear idea of what is being studied. Rather than following a fixed process the research process changes as the researcher learns more about the topic and what they actually need to research. Qualitative research does not produce facts and figures but in a complete description of the subject of research. Qualitative research is subjective.

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Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 9:56 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent comment Daniel. This is very easy for me to understand, and you have clearly identified the difference between Quantitative & Qualitative without diving in too complex. Your straight to the point, but nice and simple, this is something that I can appreciate. Keep up the good posts bro!!

  2. Thanks Daniel i had not answered this question yet and after reading your explanation i clearly understood the difference. Thank you :-)
    Ps I borrowed yr answer

  3. This will really help the students in their academic work in the field of research……….thanks

  4. I too say bravo Daniel, this is clear and transparent, thank you. I have understood these words very well.

  5. Just want to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness on your submit is just cool and that i can think you’re a professional on this subject. Well together with your permission allow me to seize your feed to stay updated with imminent post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

    • Thanks, but credit for this must go to our hard working tutor. You can find her blog over at res300.wordpress.com

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  8. Thankd you for a simple and straight to the point explanation at least now I understand these concepts better.


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