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Theory and Practice in qualitative research. Smitha Venkatesh NPSI IB Psychology HL Paper 3. Learning outcome. To distinguish between qualitative and quantitative data. A Revision Exercise. Data and Variables. Data: Value or Measurements that variables describing an event can assume.

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Theory and Practice in qualitative research

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Theory and practice in qualitative research

Theory and Practice in qualitative research

SmithaVenkatesh NPSI IB Psychology HL Paper 3

Learning outcome

Learning outcome

  • To distinguish between qualitative and quantitative data

A revision exercise

A Revision Exercise

Data and variables

Data and Variables

  • Data: Value or Measurements that variables describing an event can assume



  • Discrete: something that can be counted. For eg: Number of rainy days, number of students taking psychology

  • Continuous: They can assume all values between any two given values. For eg: the weight you will put on or lose due to stress between now and the IB exams

  • Independent Variable: That can ___________

  • Dependent Variable: That can ______________



How does a researcher go about it

How does a researcher go about it?

  • Putting up posters

  • Handing out surveys

  • Questionnaires

  • Opinion Polls

  • Interviews

  • Votes

  • Etc etc. Of course the best way to go about it is random sampling

What is quantitative data recap

What is Quantitative Data Recap

  • The term quantitative data is used to describe a type of information that can be counted or expressed numerically. This type of data is often collected in experiments, manipulated and statistically analyzed. Quantitative data can be represented visually in graphs, histograms, tables and charts.

  • Some examples of quantitative data include exact counts ('there were 789 students who attended the rally') or a type of measurement ('it was 78 degree Fahrenheit yesterday at 2 PM').

What is qualitative data recap

What is Qualitative Data Recap

  • Quantitative data can be contrasted with qualitative data, which involves describing things in terms of categorizations or qualities.

  • For example favorite colour…Blue, Green or Red.

  • It can also mean race, gender, religion, sport.

  • It can mean rank, or category, young, not so young, old and really really old

  • You can’t really measure the difference between the two scales

Example of quantitative frequency distribution no of rainy days in july past 24 years

Example of quantitative frequency distribution; No of rainy days in July: Past 24 years

Example of qualitative data blood group of x igcse a

Example of Qualitative Data: Blood group of X IGCSE A

How do we measure both

How do we measure both?



  • Surveys

  • Instruments of measure, like weighing scale, exam scores (raw and standardized)

  • Counting

  • Case Studies

  • Surveys

  • Likert Scale

  • Observations

Descriptive statistics

Descriptive Statistics

  • You may use bar charts

  • Pie Charts

  • Frequency distribution

  • Dot Plots

  • Time Series; Stem and Leaf etc etc


Inferential statistics

Inferential Statistics

  • What do you ‘infer’ from the data?

  • How confident are you that 20% of the student population has the blood group A?

    • Your chances are better if you are taking a random population of 25 from the school, however 25 IGCSE students will also give you all a good idea.

  • Rainy Days in JULY??

Bell curve normal distribution

Bell Curve: Normal Distribution

Measures of central tendency

Measures of Central Tendency

  • Mean

  • Median

  • Mode

Measures of variability

Measures of Variability

  • Range

    • Inter quartile range

  • Mean Absolute Deviation

    • The average of absolute deviation from the mean

  • The Variance and Standard Deviation

    • Sample Variance: approximate average of the squared deviations from the mean

    • Sample Standard Deviation is the positive square root of the sample variance.

Scared enough

Scared Enough??

  • Don’t worry, its quite simple 

Test scores how did you perform

Test Scores: How did you perform

Need to have different types of data

Need to have different types of Data

  • You cannot measure everything in absolute in life.

  • In psychology there is no absolutes, and in social constructs, things do change

What is asked in paper 3

What is asked in Paper 3

  • Eg; Identify 3 types of Triangulation and briefly describe how each of them maybe applied in qualitative research (2005)

  • Now you will be given a case study and asked to comment on it (2011)

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