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What Are the Different Types of Qualitative Models?

By Osmand Vitez
Updated May 16, 2024
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Qualitative models help individuals review and study various parts of information. Logic is necessary to create a model that both captures the requisite information and produces expected results. Different types of quantitative models include mathematical, pictorial, and analytic deduction. Researchers often use qualitative models to provide support for hypotheses and define new statements from gathered data. The information gathered typically dictates which type of model to use, though researchers may use standard models based on specific types of studies.

Mathematical models can be either simplistic or complex in various qualitative models. Researchers can gather information that involves numbers and other figures to plug into the mathematical model. Minor statistical analysis may also make an appearance into these types of mathematical studies. For example, a researcher may desire information on the probability of A occurring when B occurs or the probability of A and B occurring at the same time. Empirical studies usually demand both mathematical and statistical processes.

Pictorial graphs or diagrams are other common types of qualitative models used in studies. Organizational studies may require outlines of all individuals who work in an organization. A pictorial graph outlines the management structure and how a company defines the flow of employee supervision. These models are infinitely more qualitative than the mathematical or statistical models defined earlier. Researchers need to observe and gather data themselves in order to create pictorial graphs and diagrams for this kind of study.

Analytic induction represents qualitative models for deriving logic from gathered data. For example, a researcher may look to determine if statements are true when based on specific research methods. Surveys or other methods are necessary to gather data related to statements commonly made in a society. The research process uses qualitative models that get specific answers from a large group of individuals who can accurately respond to the questions asked, usually without bias. The review and dissemination of the data help complete the study and answer questions using analytic induction.

Many other types of qualitative models can exist in various studies. Alterations to standard models may also be necessary if a proposed study does not fit the typical mold used for other studies. Researchers must be able to defend their research processes and use of qualitative models in order to ensure their study is appropriate. Failure to do so can result in skewed results from poor research practices.

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