Quantitative Research VS Qualitative

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Khawaja and Lathopolous (2014) conducted a study to determine the experiences of counselors during the counseling process while caring for clients from varied ethnic backgrounds. For a long time, studies on the theories to be used when dealing with clients with various lingual and cultural backgrounds and limited awareness of the counseling process have been conducted. As a result, this study will strive to identify the characteristics that can promote service provision during counseling regardless of cultural background. Respondents were asked to share their experiences in each phase as they attempt to create a good connection with the clients in order to improve adequate communication and optimal support throughout care. The participants were comprised of mental health professional from queen’s land in Australia. 15 people were involved in the study seven males and eight females. The participant’s ages ranged from 26 to 67 years. Most of the professionals were informed of the survey during a professional conference. Later on, emails and phone calls were made to remind the professionals of the study. While selecting the sample, snowball sampling methods were employed. The chosen participants were notified ahead of time, and demographic questionnaire provided to them to fill via email before the interviews. Findings from the study show that there are many negative and positive effects of studying the culture of the clients before engaging them. Some respondents pointed out that understanding one's culture is important since it created confidence and leads to a fruitful discussion while others believed that it could lead to stereotyping. Some respondents pointed out that it is impractical to learn all the cultures. Thus respect and rapport played a significant role in enhancing communication with people from various cultural backgrounds.

Lee, & Khawaja, (2013), carried out a study to determine the level of cultural competence among psychologists. The study was aimed at establishing the relationship between multicultural teaching and clinical experience with the degree of cultural competence portrayed by the clinician trainees. The authors asserts that cultural competency is a critical area of study in most parts of Europe, North America and Australia since most of the people inhabiting these areas come from various cultural backgrounds across the world. The study was aimed at establishing the relationship between clinical experience and multicultural training the psychologist student’s level of cultural competence. The researchers utilized online questionnaires whereby 127 postgraduate students participated. The questionnaires required the students to fill their social desirability measure, demographic information multicultural awareness in mental health. The hypothesis of the study was stated that student’s level of cultural competence was directly proportional to clinical experience and multicultural teaching. The study asserted that multicultural teaching was not necessarily, but clinical experience and supervisor were mandatory for one to gain competence in a multicultural environment. Therefore the results provide an insight into the universities in Australia on how they can facilitate the educating of future psychologist w can be able to provide an all-round service to the culturally diverse population of Australia with minimal violation of the cultural practices of their clients.

Positivism vs. constructivism

Constructivism and positivism are two very different philosophical positions. Each of the two philosophies, present with very different core ideas. The two epistemologies, sharply differ on the components of knowledge. Positivism is philosophical position emphasizing that knowledge can only be gained through measurable or observable facts which are also known as empiricism. Subjective experiences are not admissible as ways of learning in positivism philosophy. In this stance, only sensory information is regarded as actual knowledge Howitt, (2010). Positivists believe that biology, chemistry, and physics are the only sciences because they can be taught in the laboratory through observable experiments. Thus disregarding social sciences as not a sciences, there are not tests that can be conducted to ascertain their arguments. Dissimilar to natural sciences, the social scientist go to the community or society which acts as its laboratory. The primary interest of social scientists is the people attitudes, their life experiences, and the socialization process. Positivist see the social sciences unit as an irrelevant field of study. The view by positivist is because all the components of social sciences cannot be measured or observed.

On the other hand, social constructivism takes a different stance to that of positivism. Constructivism points out that there is not truth and reality as emphasized by positives. Instead, the constructivism believes that reality is a personal creation of the society. The view of the world is different from one person to another; everybody sees the world according to their perception. Other concepts like culture, race, and gender among other social constructs, affected one perception of the world. Hence the argument that there is no single truth and reality. For instance, gender and sex are two different constructs according to the socially. Gender is defined by the different roles played by male and female. The society believes that the male gender can carry out tedious jobs as opposed to the female who are only able to conduct lighter jobs. All this are socially constructed and can be referred to as social reality. Concisely, positivism relies on observable facts where constructivism is based on social constructs. At the same time, positivism is characterized by objectivity while constructivism is characterized by subjectivity which is a creation and perception of the individuals involved. Constructivism has been essential in the qualitative studies and hence led to the advancement of social sciences hence better understanding of the human behavior. In fact developments in social sciences, have been fundamental in health care provision and peaceful coexistence of people in different parts of the world. Sensitization on the different cultural practices among people has been essential in embracing diversity in various places of wok across all sectors.

Both Lee, & Khawaja, (2013) and Khawaja, & Lathopolous, (2014), based their studies on social constructivism. In both articles, the basic theory is the study of the society using the social science concepts. Both studies have an interest in understanding the society and ensuring that optimal service is delivered. For instance, Khawaja, & Lathopolous, (2014), appreciates the fact that cultural diversity has a role to play in healthcare delivery. Hence the author seeks to understand the health professional experience with patents from different cultural backgrounds. At the same time, the author focused on understanding some of the factors that can promote better service delivery irrespective of the cultural background by a health care providers. The author appreciates that it is not possible for one to understand all the cultures in the world hence it necessary for one to understand some of the conventional practices that cannot violate the cultural beliefs of the clients. On the other hand, Lee, & Khawaja, (2013), seeks to understand the multicultural competence students and some of the factors that can lead to better ability while providing counseling services.

Both studies pay close attention to the different cultures believing that the perception of service providers is solely based on the social construct of the individual. The authors affirm that culture which is the core way of life has a role to play in how people perceived various things in the world hence affecting their judgment. Further affirming the fact that there is no single reality, every person from different cultural backgrounds has his or her understanding of the world. Most of the information collected from the participants is subjective data. The questions are open needed hence giving the participants an opportunity of expressing their feelings in their experience with their clients. Further personal information, provides a broad range of answers which can be used to manage patients adequately. Besides, the information acquired can be used to provide better training to the health care workers in understanding the cultural differences. For instance, Lee, & Khawaja, (2013), gave some recommendations on how to improve the education of the postgraduate psychologist students and to foster cultural competence. In their findings, they realized that having the knowledge on multicultural diversities is not sufficient in ensuring importance during service delivery. Instead one has to have the experience in the field so further promote their multicultural competence.

According to Bernstein, (2013), ethical consideration is key while carrying out any research more so one that involves human beings and animals. Bernstein, (2013), points out that reports of the research should be published fairly without any omission or exaggeration of the information being passed across. This is essential in maintaining the authenticity of the study and also hence positive results in case its recommendations are implemented. Secondly, he asserts that is mandatory for the researcher to protect the welfare and dignity of the participants. While writing the report or submitting results, the researcher should keep the participant's personal information as confidential as possible. Thirdly, participants in the study should make an informed decision before they participate in the study. In cases where the participants are perceived, they should be debriefed at the end of the day so that they are aware of the purpose of the activities that they were involved in performing. Lastly, a comprehensive analysis of the study should be carried out to establish the benefits and potential risks or harm. For any study to be conducted, the benefits have to outweigh the risks or harms of the study to either the participants, the researcher or the consumers of the information.

Lee, & Khawaja, (2013) and Khawaja, & Lathopolous, (2014), complied with the ethical requirements as outlined by Bernstein, (2013). To begin each of the researchers informed the participants of the study ahead of time. An in-depth explanation of the expectation and the aim of the survey was explained to the participants before they are engaged in the activity. Hence they gave informed consent. In the case of Khawaja, & Lathopolous, (2014), the participants were informed during a professional conference and also reminded before they study through phone calls and the email. The same case applied to Lee, & Khawaja, (2013), where the participants were contacted online and gave informed consent to participate in the study. Secondly, the sampling procedure was far hence providing a representative report on the various groups involved. The findings were published fairly without any alteration of their findings as displayed in their final reports. The accuracy can be ascertained to by the consistency in the figures given and their conclusions. Lastly, in both studies, the researcher worked towards ensuring that the dignity and welfare of the participants were taken care of since the participants were kept anonymous through the study and report writing. Concisely, the researchers adhered to the ethical requirements while carrying out studies, more those involving human beings or animals. In social sciences, ethical consideration is critical to enhance additional studies and promote participation of people from various communities.

Both studies were faced with a number of limitations that might have affected the general outcome of the study. Some of the common limitation if the fact that there was a lot of information given by the respondents hence making it tedious to analyze. A lot of time is often consumes in analyzing qualitative data as opposed to quantitative data analysis. Secondly there could be a problem in confidentiality and adherence to anonymity of the respondents when presenting the findings, however it is possible. Most scientists have found it hard to admit qualitative research as scientific even through the social scientists see it as a science. Khawaja, & Lathopolous, (2014) was faced with one of major challenges of distorted information due to the presence of the researcher during the study. The Hawthorne effects is very distractive when collecting qualitative information which might lead to the participants giving contrary information. However Lee, & Khawaja, (2013) was not faced by the similar challenges because all the participants were filling their questioners online. At the same time it is often very difficult to observe rigor throughout of the study and its maintenance. This is because of the different personalities of the participants. At the same time there are a number o activities involved which might diverge the attention.


Bernstein, D. (2013). Essentials of psychology. Cengage Learning.

Howitt, D. (2010). Introduction to qualitative methods in psychology. Harlow: Prentice hall.

Khawaja, N. G., & Lathopolous, P. (2014). A qualitative study of mental health practices with culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) clients. The Australian Community Psychologist, 26(2), 8-21.

Lee, A., & Khawaja, N. G. (2013). Multicultural training experiences as predictors of psychology students' cultural competence. Australian Psychologist, 48(3), 209-216.

April 19, 2023

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