Quantitative vs. Qualitative

Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative

If we consider the words quality and quantity with respect to the English language, we will see that the meaning of the word Quality is the nature, attributes, behaviour etc. of any object or person, and the meaning of the word quantity is the amount or rather the numerical value of the object or person that is present at the time. So, the word Qualitative is used with context to the term Quality and similarly the word Quantitative is used with context to the term Quantity or amount. Generally, it is seen that theses two terms are misunderstood by a majority of people. To explain these two words in the simplest terms, we can say that quality is an adjective specific to a specific object or person and cannot be measured numerically, while quantity is a numerical value denoting the amount of a certain object/substance or number of persons. So quality is something that can be perceived, sensed and felt while quantity is something that can be calculated, measured or counted and cannot be sensed or felt or experienced.

Let us take an example of persons to explain the term quality and quantity. Now, if we have to describe the quality of a particular boy among many, that differentiates him from the others, we will use the terms like handsome, tall, intelligent, well-mannered etc. In short, qualitative description of anything is either an appreciation or a criticism of the attributes that are possessed by that object. On the other hand, if we have to tell the total strength of students in the school i.e the Quantitative measurement of the total students in the school is given by a particular whole number such as 2000 or 3000.

The words that form the adjectives in the English language are quantitative ones such as irritating, pretty, noisy, ugly, loud, hot etc. Thus we can say that qualitative words are abstract terms while quantitative terms are absolute terms i.e whole numbers.

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