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Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative

Quantitative vs Qualitative

Quantitative and Qualitative are two terms that have to be understood differently. Quantitative has a lot to do with the quantity of an object or a person. On the other hand qualitative has a lot to do with the quality or the attribute of an object or a person.

In other words it can be said that qualitative refers to the quality whereas quantity refers to number. This is one of the main differences between the two terms qualitative and quantitative.

A quality is a property or an attribute which a person or an object possesses. Hence it is used to describe the object or the person as the case may be. On the other hand a quantity is something that can be counted or measured. Hence the difference between the two is clear.

One of the interesting differences between the two is that quantitative is objective whereas qualitative is subjective. Qualitative is something that cannot be measured but can only be experienced. On the other hand quantitative is something that can only be measured but cannot be experienced. This is another important difference between the two.

Qualitative terms are generally used in forms of appreciation such as poetry, literature and music. On the other hand quantitative terms are generally used in scientific procedures that primarily involve objects. In other words it can be said that qualitative is a term associated with creativity whereas quantitative is a term associated with anything practical.

Some of the words that are used in the description of anything qualitative are good, useless, ugly, beautiful, hard, soft, boring, fascinating, interesting, filthy, neat, dark, pale, wonderful, colorful, evil, angelic and the like.

On the other hand some of the words that are used in the description of anything quantitative are hot, cold, long, short, fast, slow, large, small, many, few, heavy, light, near, far and the like. A close look at the words mentioned above will make the difference between the two terms, namely, qualitative and quantitative very clear indeed.

It is true that the terms mentioned above are used in our daily life. When somebody says, “The girl has a beautiful face”, the word ‘beautiful’ is used in the qualitative sense. On the other hand when somebody says, “This metal is a heavy one”, then the word ‘heavy’ is used in the quantitative sense. This establishes the fact that quantitative terms are generally scientific in nature.


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