Quantitative Research: An Important Research Methodology
- Mar 11, 2021
To know how to write a research paper properly, you first should learn to differentiate between quantitative research and qualitative research of a research methodology. Quantitative research is just the opposite to qualitative research and involves the collection and analysing of non-numerical data such as audio, video or text.it is a type of research method which is broadly used in social and natural sciences like marketing, sociology, economics, psychology, chemistry and biology.
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Key Features of This Kind of Research Method
- The researchers who conduct quantitative research try controlling the extraneous variables. They do this by limiting their research within the walls of the laboratories.
- Objectivity that is without biases is aimed through the research and is kept apart from the data.
- Even before the study begins, its design is determined beforehand.
- Reality is an objective concept to the researcher in this method and exists as a separate entity to the researcher and has the potential of getting seen by anyone.
- This kind of research method is mostly used to test a particular theory and then either support it or reject it.
For a researcher, it is very important to choose the right methodology as the entire research and its results depend on the methods applied. A research method not only forms a significant art of the research paper, but also of the research paper abstract and research proposal. It is also important to draft a proper research paper outline, which would help you to choose the appropriate method to be used for your research.
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Methods to Conduct A Quantitative Research
The quantitative research method is commonly used for three types of research:
- Experimental Research: Analysis is done systematically to judge the existence of any cause-and-effect relationship between the variables of the study.
- Descriptive Research: A simple summary is being seeked about the study variables.
- Correlational Research: A kind of relationship or link is being investigated between the variables of the study.
In order to collect quantitative data, operational definitions will often be needed to translate the abstract concepts such as mood into quantifiable and observable measures like that in the case of self-ratings of energy levels and feelings.
The various kinds of research methods used in this type of research are:
- Survey: A survey is a group study that is being conducted among a group of people belonging from the same background or having a common link with the domain of the research paper. The sample size may vary from 25 to 200 or more. The respondents are sent a questionnaire of few close-ended questions based on the research paper topic. The responses are noted and kept for analysis of data by the researcher. This may be conducted over the phone or online facilities. For example, to test the operational efficiency of a particular company, a survey would be conducted among the employees from various levels of the organisation and given a set of common questions. Based on these responses the analysis of the company would be done.
- Experiment: The independent variable is taken into consideration here. This variable is being manipulated and controlled to study how it affects the dependent variable. For example, to analyse if procrastination can be reduced by an intervention among the college students, the researcher often gives the students a comparable task or a procrastination intervention after dividing them into equal sized groups.
- Systematic Observation: An occurrence of interest or behaviour is identified and it is monitored in its natural environment or settings. For example, studying the participation of college classrooms, you have to be a part of that classroom, observe their behaviour, count as well as record the prevalence of various kinds of active and passive behavior of the students, who belong from different backgrounds.
- Secondary Research: Data and information that were previously gathered and collected for other purposes like historical records and national surveys. For example, in order to assess whether the attitudes towards climatic change since the 1980s have changed or not, you have to collect pre existing data from the longitudinal studies.
Advantages of Quantitative Research
In order to standardise the collection of data and to generalise findings, quantitative research is used. The strengths of this kind of approach are:
- Repeating or replicating the study is comparatively easier and possible due to the standardized data collection and palpable definitions of the abstract concepts.
- The study can be represented in other settings with a different culture and time and also with various people belonging to different groups. These results can be compared statistically.
- Analysing and processing of data belonging to large samples can be done by using consistent and reliable procedures through the data analysis of quantitative methods.
- Using established and formalised procedures of hypothesis testing denotes that the testing methods, data collection, predictions and research variables have to be carefully reported and considered before coming to any conclusion.
Disadvantages of Quantitative Research
Bereft of having so many benefits, yet it fails to analyse and explain properly the complex research paper topics. The limitations include:
- Complex concepts may be inadequately represented by using restrictive and precise operational definitions. Supposedly the concept regarding mood, it may be represented well in numbers but can be elaborately explained and analysed in qualitative research.
- Predetermined procedures of measurement and variables can denote that you have been ignoring other relevant observations.
- The quantitative research can be still affected by the structural biases bereft of the standardised procedures. The incorrect conclusions are being led by these biases like incorrect sampling methods, missing data and imprecise measurements.
- Often quantitative research is seen to have made use of unnatural settings such as the laboratories or failing to keep in consideration the cultural and historical contexts that may impose great threats on both data collection and data results.
Difference Between A Quantitative Research and A Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative research data mostly consists of information regarding quantities and numbers, whereas qualitative research data is descriptive in nature and relates to observation that cannot be measured like that of language.
|Quantitative Research||Qualitative Research|
|It mainly focuses on testing hypotheses and theories.||It is focussed on exploring new ideas and formulating new theories or hypotheses.|
|It is analysed through statistical and math analysis.||It is analysed in three levels: summarising, organising into categories and then interpreting.|
|It is mostly expressed in tables, numbers and graphs.||It is being expressed in words.|
|It requires a lot of respondents.||It requires only a few respondents|
|Close ended questions like multiple choice questions are being asked to the respondents.||Open ended questions like that in an interview are being asked to the respondents.|
|It is concerned to discover new facts about social phenomena.||It is mainly concerned with the behaviour of humans from the perspective of the informant.|
|Assumes a measurable and a fixed reality.||Assumes a negotiated and dynamic reality.|
|Data is mostly collected by measuring things.||Data is mostly collected through interviews or participant observations.|
|Analysis of data is being done through statistical inferences and numerical comparisons.||Based on the descriptions given by the informants, themes are collected on which data is analysed.|
|Through statistical analysis, data is reported.||The data gets reported in the informant’s language.|
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