Are You a Qualitative or Quantitative Person?

Nathan Friefeld
3 min readJul 18, 2022


Are you someone who digs through the numbers to understand a story? What about someone who likes to listen to what someone has to say? Learning the full story in detail and creating that personal connection.

Today we are going to briefly discuss two mass media journals that each took a different research approach.

Set let’s get those reading glasses on because here we go!

Podcasts & Productivity

The theory used is User & Gratification Theory. We want to see how people use media for their own needs. In this journal, we want to see how people use podcasts to satisfy their needs.

The study used a qualitative research approach specifically using focus groups. There were 23 people in total and the groups were broken down into smaller ones. The reasoning for small groups is that everyone would have the time and ability to tell their story and it provides a more diverse voice. There were 10 questions asked and anyone had the ability to add to the discussion or talk if they want. There were online groups which were more eager to discuss podcasts as they were adopters. The in-person Focus groups or casual listeners. They may not have adapted to podcasts as easily.

It was concluded that people like podcasts because they are engaging and always changing. There was no craving for visual sense like TV. Since podcasts are new, non-adopters miss out on the social aspect that can be created. Those who listen discussed that they accomplish housework and other tasks when they have podcasts playing.

Social Media Harm

In the journal, researchers wanted to know how social media causes harm and to whom. Plus, what does it mean to cause harm?

Unlike Podcasts & Productivity, the data aligned with quantitative research. The method used to gather information is online surveys to college students ages between 18 to 22 years old. They were given instructions to provide specific examples and detailed answers to the specific questions asked. The survey was conducted on Qualtrics.

Many of those surveyed individuals were women which went along with the study that women are bullied more. Besides women, minorities face bullying although in the study minorities were not represented as high. If the research did include more minorities, the overall conclusion could be stronger and create a better story. Either way, the study proclaims that “college students perceive offensive online content as a persuasive but abstract problem, but with limited personal investment in little help for mitigating harm, other than through challenges too and changes in social norms”.

I found that qualitative research interested me the most. The opportunity to speak with someone firsthand and understand their story and how they truly feel about a subject is something special. Overall, the qualitative research was clearer to me. It could’ve been that I also listen to podcasts so there was a bias towards reading but I truly believe you get more out of it when you research to personal level.