Qualitative Vs. Quantitative Studies

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CHAPTER 5. INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION Quantitative v. Qualitative Studies Quantitative investigations are scientific, objective, and effective in describing phenomena in terms of magnitude (Balian, 1988). Quantitative investigations use numeric values and statistics to identify patterns, to objectively quantify relationships between variables, and to make predictions. In addition, because large sample sizes are used, data can be generalized to larger populations. However, numeric values are ineffective in describing the subjective interpretations of human emotions (Wakefield, 1995). Because individuals have unique lived experiences and their realities are based on their own perceptions, a single objective truth is unattainable; indeed,…show more content…
A police officer can test a theory to determine if it is a viable explanation of a phenomenon by developing and statistically verifying a conjecture concerning the relationship between the variables. However, because human knowledge is limited, hypotheses cannot actually be proved true (Shields, 2007). For example, we will never know for sure if any of the many extraneous variables have impacted a particular relationship between known variables ( a person may appear to have committed a crime, but appearances can be deceiving). However, we can demonstrate that relationships do not exist between variables (the person was already dead at the time of the crime and could not have committed the crime). Thus, because relationships cannot be proved true, an attempt is made to prove them false. This is called falsification. For example, instead of proving that a defendant is truly guilty of a crime, a prosecutor attempts to prove with a certain confidence level that the defendant is not innocent of the crime. For example, if there is a 95% confidence level that a defendant is not innocent, then jurors may find the defendant guilty. In other words, if hypotheses are not proved false, then they are accepted as true at a certain confidence level. This implies that there is an acceptable level of being wrong. Thus, innocent people may sometimes be wrongly…show more content…
One way is to convict an innocent person. The other way is to set a guilty person free. A juror can ensure that one type of error is never made, but this will require either a) always setting defendants free or b) always convicting defendants. For either case, there is no need for a trial. On the one hand, if one juror wants to ensure that he never makes a mistake by letting a guilty person go free, then that juror must always vote guilty. His reasoning may be that the police do not arrest innocent persons. With this reasoning, there is no need for a trial because everyone arrested will be convicted by this type of juror. On the other hand, if another juror wants to ensure that she never makes a mistake by sending an innocent person to jail, then that juror must always vote not guilty. With this reasoning, there is no need for a trial because everyone arrested will be set free by this type of juror. Thus, in both cases, there is no need for a trial. However, because there are trials in the U.S., compromises are required and there will be chances of making
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