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Quantitative Research. LeAnne Garland Linda Martin Tony McCullers May Xiong. Image from: http://www.ryerson.ca/~mjoppe/ResearchProcess/QuantitativeResearch.htm . Definition.

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quantitative research

Quantitative Research

LeAnne Garland

Linda Martin

Tony McCullers

May Xiong


Image from: http://www.ryerson.ca/~mjoppe/ResearchProcess/QuantitativeResearch.htm.

  • Quantitative Research is a methodology that “aims to determine the relationship between one thing (an independent variable) and another (a dependent variable) in a population.” (Hopkins, 2000)
  • According to our textbook (Leedy et al, 2003):
    • Variables are isolated and controlled
    • Standardized procedures are used to collect numerical data
    • Statistical procedures are used to analyze and draw conclusions
quantitative research1
Quantitative Research . . .
  • Hypothesizes – uses data to support or disprove a hypothesis
  • Seeks validation and consistency – this allows researchers to make generalizations that are applicable to other situations and contexts
  • Seeks impartial outcomes – researchers use standardized methods to collect and interpret data
  • Gathers data – data is numeric, the studied sample is representative of the larger population
  • Produces results – “quantifiable,” numbers, statistics, scientific reporting
  • Correlational Research
    • “…examines the extent to which differences in one characteristic or variable are related to differences in one or more other characteristics or variables.” (Leedy et al, 2003)
    • Researcher gathers information from a group of people and plots the number to see if there exists a relationship between the characteristics.
    • Warning: Correlations show relationships between variables but does not display causation of a particular characteristic!
  • Developmental Designs
    • Cross-Sectional Study
      • “…variables of interest in a sample of subjects are assayed once and the relationships between them are determined.” (Hopkins, 2000)
      • Researcher compares characteristics of several different age groups.
    • Longitudinal Study
      • “…single group of people is followed over the course of several months or years, and data related to the characteristic(s) under investigation are collected at various times. (Leedy et al, 2003)
  • Observational Studies
    • Researcher is focused on a particular aspect of the behavior and the number of times the behavior occurs.
    • This type is very different from qualitative research’s angle of observation, where the behavior is monitored with great detail.
  • Survey Research
    • Also known as a descriptive survey or a normative survey.
    • Researcher poses questions to analyze their responses at that particular moment in time.
      • Face-to-Face Interview
      • Telephone Interview
      • Questionnaires
advantages of quantitative research
In graph or table form, you get “results at a glance”

More representative of the wider population

Can compare similar studies more easily

Useful for collecting straightforward, descriptive data

Results are statistically reliable

Allows researchers to measure and control variables

Advantages of Quantitative Research
disadvantages of quantitative research
Not appropriate for learning why people act or think as they do

Questions must be direct and easily quantified

Issues are only measured if they are known prior to the beginning of the survey and have been incorporated into the survey

Not cost effective

Prone to researcher bias

Can be artificial

Not sure who is actually answering the surveys (online or mail)

Participants may answer differently in the structured survey than they would in a real life situation

Disadvantages of Quantitative Research
applications survey research
Applications – Survey Research
  • The most popular method of data collection used in quantitative research is the survey. The survey technique involves the collection of primary data about subjects through a questionnaire. Researchers typically conduct a survey of a particular population in order to gather data that will answer his/her research questions.
  • As quantitative research is often structured in the form of numbers, these surveys must be worded so that they yield quantifiable data that can later be generalized. Yes/No questions or questions that ask respondents to rate a certain good or service are the types of questions that normally appear on a quantitative survey. Open-ended questions lend themselves better to qualitative analysis.
applications survey research1
Applications – Survey Research
  • Surveys could be conducted via telephone, self-administer, or in-person interview.
    • Telephone surveys are the fastest and cheapest way of surveying respondents. They allow for random sampling and there tends to be less interviewer bias.
    • “Self-administered surveys require the respondent to complete the questionnaire him/herself. The most common ways of distributing these surveys are through the use of mail, Internet, place of employment, or place of purchase of a good or service.” (Leedy et al, 2003)
    • In-person interviews can be a huge advantage in that it can provide the opportunity for feedback. However, the length of interview or its complexity can be much greater than other survey techniques in that interview bias can influence the results.
  • Day, E. (1995, January 8). Know consumers through quantitative research. Marketing News, 32, 14.
  • Chappell, C. The nature of quantitative research. Retrieved September 8, 2004, from: http://www.gsu.edu/~mstswh/courses/it7000/papers/the1.htm.
  • Edwards, David J. (1998) Types of case study work: A conceptual framework for case-based research. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 38, 36-71.
  • Fierro, J. Quantitative Research. Retrieved September 10, 2004, from: http://www.gsu.edu/~mstaswh/courses.it7000/papers/quantita.htm.
  • Hopkins, PhD, W. G (2000). Quantitative research design. Sportscience 4(1), Retrieved September 8, 2004, from: http://www.sportsci.org/jour/0001/wghdesign.html.
  • Leedy, P. & Ormrod, J. (2003). Practical research: planning and design. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
  • Quantitative research techniques. Retrieved September 8, 2004, from: http://www.ryerson.ca/~mjoppe/ResearchProcess/QuantitativeResearch.htm.