People use problem solving and research in everyday life. For example, to solve a problem people often will clarify or define the problem, determine causes of the problem, examine alternatives, choose and implement a solution based on the examination of alternatives, and determine if the solution solved the problem. Additionally, people conduct research in everyday life to solve problems by defining the problem and gathering available information to determine a solution. The difference between everyday problem solving and scientific research is scientific research consists of theoretical science that uses theory to clarify or determine relationships between events or facts researched (Champion, 2006). In scientific research, scientists relate theories to ideas and scientists caution that information gathered is tentative (Champion, 2006). Scientific research, unlike regular research, is unbiased, objective, and thorough. Scientific research results are consistently tested and retested for “accuracy” and solutions often change numerous times because scientific research is based on probability (Champion, 2006). In scientific research, ideas and views are investigated through numerous studies considered as one experiment (Champion, 2006). Investigators who conduct the scientific research must ensure that the data gathering, information analysis, examination of facts, outcomes, and repercussions of the research (Champion, 2006). Finally, scientific research has to be copied numerous times before any certainty is claimed because the scientific information that is being researched is pragmatic, unethical, and speculative (Champion, 2006). Thus, in everyday research and problem solving the person investigating the problem or idea gathers information and comes to a conclusion based on the information, in scientific research investigators use objectivity and theory to research an idea through data gathering, experimenting, examining results, forming a possible theory, then retesting the theory numerous times.
Quantitative research is the appliance of statistical measures and methods to information collected through surveys, interviews, and questionnaires (Champion, 2006). In quantitative research the researchers use mathematics such as the application of statistics to examine theories and report a solution or result of the experiment. Most information that is often found in journals today consists of quantitative information (Champion, 2006). In quantitative research a large amount of information is gathered and analyzed through statistical experimentation (Champion, 2006). The researchers are known as “number-crunchers” because the statistics that are applied in the experiments is so thorough a person normally must possess extensive knowledge in statistics to interpret the findings and end results (Champion, 2006). Additionally, quantitative research classifies information with explanatory, associational, causal-comparative research. The quantitative research is used to determine the how much, how often, and how extensive the result is in the experiment (Champion, 2006). The information that is gathered through quantitative research is made up of charts, graphs, tables, and other types of experimentation (Champion, 2006).
In contrast to quantitative research, qualitative research is the appliance of observational methods and examination of documents to study humans and the human characteristics (Champion, 2006). In qualitative research, the researchers seek to determine why a person behaves a particular way in a certain setting (Champion, 2006). Qualitative researchers become a part of a group of people or observe a person or group of people in the person or groups normal environment (Champion, 2006). However, as described by the text the research is not just of the human in the environment but of the social setting as well. Qualitative research offers more personal details in the research that cannot be gathered through quantitative research.
Champion, D. (2006). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Retrieved November 9, 2009, from University of Phoenix, CJA 433-Research Methods in Criminal Justice, rEsource website.