Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Psychology

I'm not writing to introduce these methods, so if this is what you're looking for please close this page.

I'm doing my dissertation this time again in quantitative method, originally I thought this reflects my interest and what I thought is the best method. Until recently I realized it doesn't reflect my interest, it reflects what university is able to provide their students with.

I did my undergraduate in University of Gloucestershire. There we had a professor who was a bit sissy (sorry! and worse I can't remember his name now), and he was really good in Discourse Analysis (a type of qualitative method), so that was what we were taught. I remember me and Pei Man did an assignment together regarding religions, in which we interviewed the head of our uni chapel (christian) and a malay friend who practices Islam religiously. I wouldn't say that I was very keen in that assignment, afterall that was something completely new, we weren't even sure what we had to do. This university we have Tom Farsides who is specialized in Ground Theory (another type of qualitative method), so again that's what we were taught in. He is quite a good lecturer, but I didn't pay too much attention during his lecturers, I thought, yes I thought, I wasn't interested, I thought I have decided to be a quantitative researcher.

Until recently, when I start to talk to people regarding my MSc. project. Most people found it very interesting, and quite often people share what they encountered in their lives with me. Today I was speaking to a lady in the language institute, she was like completely surprised and happy with what I'm doing, and told me she is really looking forward to my work. She continued to share some of her knowledge, and more importantly, some of her experience ("there had been lots of tears in this room (her office)"). I'm surprised how much she knows, despite the fact that she is an English and isn't someone practices in the social science field, but she sees a lot of international students.

You might think I must be happy to meet someone who can provide me with more information about my study. Unfortunately no, I'm slightly upset, with the fact that I'm going to disappoint her with my work. Because quantitative method can never capture so much information, I can never share her experience (and some of others) in my studies, my project is fixed, although it's complicated enough, but still, it's fixed.

Before I left I told her perhaps I can do an interview with her and learn more about her experience.. then we both smiled and said "for my (your) phd". Of course I was just joking, I told myself I am NOT going to take phd, at least not now.. but this is the first time...

(1) I feel I have to use qualitative method to capture how human behaviour really is like
(2) I think about doing a phd!!!


bpeng said...

Jonathan Elcock?

huibee said...

wow! yes!! at the time of writing couldn't recall his name at all >.<
now you put his full name here if someone search his name and somehow come to my blog, im deadly, dead! xD

PuiPui said...

When I was doing masters tat time I chose qualitative instead of quantitative as I know qualitative can let me capture more thoughts n all...and also I wanna challenge some new topic n take risk with this unfamiliar method. But my dissertation was a piece of shit for another marker while my dissertation tutor said it was very good (and make me happy nia T.T)! I was once regret y didn't I choose quantitative. N I tell myself I will ONLY do qualitative in the future IF I got a very good tutor, the research is only for my own analysis n no need reference for my own thought...:/ *paiseh so random*

huibee said...

it's a very subjective method.. so i suppose it's not surprising that someone finds it brilliant and someone thinks it's not good. you should be proud that at least you are one of the few who tried!!

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