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Wellness Promotion -- M.A.

Helpful research instructions, tips, and links for the graduate, completely-online Wellness Promotion program.


What is Quantitative Research?

  • Quantitative research is a way to learn about  a sample population (or a group of people chosen from the whole). Using scientific inquiry, quantitative research relies on observed or measured data to examine questions about this sample population.
  • This type of research focuses on numbers, and is thus precise.  
  • Uses statistics


  • Typically it is to determine the relationship between two variables. 

Sample Size

  • Usually large samples
  • Often simple random probability sampling 

Types of Data

  • Tests, surveys, frequently multiple-choice questionnaires 


F. Oguz, personal communication, May 22, 2019. 


What is Qualitative Research?

  • Uses interpretive techniques to describe, decode, and translate the meaning -- not the frequency -- of certain naturally occurring phenomena.
  • Uses non-statistical techniques
  • interested in how people interpret their experiences, how they construct their worlds, and what meaning they attribute to their experiences
  • Case studies tend to be qualitative


  • To understand a phenomenon

Sample Size

  • small
  • purposeful sampling -- the investigator wants to discover, understand, and gain insight and therefore must select a sample from which the most can be learned. There is an emphasis on in-depth understanding of specific cases. 

Types of Data

  • Focus groups, interviews, field observation, historical comparison
  • mostly open-ended questions


F. Oguz, personal communication, June 10, 2019. 


Generally speaking, quantitative research seeks to understand the relationship between variables through testing hypotheses. Qualitative research hopes to understand a phenomenon through the use of interviews and real-world observation. Both types of research are valid; however, certain research topics are better suited to one approach or the other. It is important to understand the differences between these two types of research so that you will be able to effectively analyze any articles that you read.  Because you will understand the different advantages and disadvantages of each approach, you will be better prepared to critique the articles you read.