What is Quantitative Research? | Methods, Types, & Examples

quantitative research

How do researchers know what to study and how to study it? Quantitative research is one method used to answer these questions. This type of research relies on numbers and calculations to come up with results.

It is one of the two methods when working on your research and writing a research paper for it. This research is a great tool for answering specific questions.

The goal of this research is to capture and understand its subject matter in the truest reality. It has an emphasis on natural settings. It is the most common type of research conducted in the social sciences, and it has a variety of applications.

In this blog post, we'll define quantitative research, discuss its methods and types. Also, give some examples of where it's been used successfully. By the end of this post, you'll have a good understanding of this important research tool for sure.

So, let’s get this started!

Quantitative Research Definition

What is quantitative research?

Quantitative research is a systematic investigation of the world by gathering quantifiable data and performing statistical, mathematical, or computational techniques. This type comes with two major categories; informative and expressive.

All these examples seek to understand their subject matters in an accurate manner. It can be achieved through sampling methods like online polls and questionnaires depending on needs.

The future is always uncertain, but with this knowledge, we can make smart decisions to ensure success.

What we can learn from this research method is how logical and unbiased the results are. The data collection process goes beyond a single population to represent an entire group, which makes it more accurate!

Quantitative Research Characteristics

Below are some characteristics of quantitative research.

  • Extensive Sample - Using a large sample size, this study represents the people whose findings will most impact.
  • Inclusive Results - The results of this experiment could be applied to a wide population.
  • Closed-ended Questions - Asking research questions is one of the most important aspects when conducting any type or form of survey. Responses should be objective-based and allow respondents to choose between ‘Yes’, 'No', or ‘don't know’ options.
  • Methodical Tools - Methodical tools help you collect more accurate and detailed information. A great way to do this would be through surveys or polls.
  • Previous Research - You should always conduct thorough research and study the results of previous studies before you start your experiment.

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Types of Quantitative Research Methods

‘What are the four types of quantitative research?’

There are four types of quantitative research, and they all hold equal importance to scientists.

Primary quantitative research is more common and useful than secondary methods. It's because, in this method, you collect your data directly from respondents rather than relying on a second source!

The quantitative research design types are listed below.

  • 1. Survey Research
  • Online surveys are a popular way to get customer feedback. By creating a questionnaire, you can survey your customers and learn what they need from the service offered by your business.

    Here are the most common types of surveys listed.

    • Cross-Sectional Survey - The researchers conduct a study on the selected group of people, and offer insights of how they think. The chosen individuals have many similarities in all aspects except those omitted by the researcher.
    • A small-scale business may be interested in this research because it gives an idea about what their customers are thinking.

      It includes the retail sector or healthcare industry. While another company might use these findings for marketing purposes. Such as showcasing new product lines at trade shows before launching them into markets.

    • Longitudinal Survey - Longitudinal studies are used in medicine and marketing to study how people's behavior changes over time. There is one particular type of this kind that can observe an individual for years before drawing any conclusions about them.
    • However, it could be days or months, depending on what you're looking at regarding your subjects' behaviors throughout the entire span.

  • 2. Experimental Research
  • This type of research aims to prove or disprove a theory. It's also known as ‘true experimentation,’ and it usually involves single or multiple theories related to natural science and social sciences.

  • 3. Causal-comparative Research
  • This research is a type of study that uses the cause and effect relationship between dependent and independent variables.

    It's also known as quasi-experimental research because one cannot be changed without affecting another independent or dependent variable. Researchers use it to determine why certain behaviors change depending on different factors.

  • 4. Correlational Research
  • Correlational research is a study that looks at the relationship between two things. These entities must have some sort of impact on one another.

    It can be anything from people, places, or even events to establish whether there's any connection at all between them. Whether negative or positive, trends might play out over time - or both!

    A lot goes into this kind of analysis: math/statistics mixed with data collection techniques. Such as interviewing people who may know about that certain issue.

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Types of Data Collection Methodologies

The right data collection method is crucial after determining your research type. For example, polling and sampling are both a way to gather information. Still, they have different drawbacks in terms of accuracy, so you need to choose which approach best suits the task.

Sampling Data Collection Method

There are two types of sampling methods used in quantitative research: probability sampling and non-probability sampling.

  • 1. Probability Sampling
  • The data is collected by taking a few people from the general population and creating samples. These samples are chosen at random without any particular selection criteria in mind.

    In this sampling, there can be many different types of individuals represented within them.

    Probability sampling is further classified as follows.

    • Simple Random Sampling - In this kind of sampling, the participants are randomly chosen. This method is conducted on a large population, so it's more likely that any bias can be avoided. All the parts of society will have an equal chance to contribute their thoughts and opinion.
    • Systematic Sampling - Here, the population is chosen at regular intervals to give a precise portrayal of what’s life for everyone. These sampling rates will be calculated according to your target sample size, ranging between 100 people and 1 million!
    • Cluster Sampling - Cluster sampling is a process of dividing the population into several groups that represent different areas and demographics.
    • Stratified Random Sampling - To ensure that the participants are a true representation of society. This study is done on many different strata and groups.
  • 2. Nonprobability Sampling
  • The perfect way to gather data is by using a well-designed study. This type of research makes sure that only specific people get chosen. The criteria for this survey have been set out beforehand in advance, so there are no surprises along the way!

    • Convenience Sampling - The samples of this kind are probably the easiest to get. Samples can be selected by following their lead because there is no formal protocol or guidelines for sampling in place. People who work with these types often have more flexibility than those dealing with other sorts.
    • Judgemental Sampling - The types of samples used in a study will depend on the researcher's skills, experience, and preference.
    • Quota Sampling - Researchers identify the specific elements in a content likely to appeal most and then make those available for everyone. This ensures an equal chance of being selected among all individuals who want it.
    • Consecutive Sampling - In this type of sampling, the researcher chooses one specific group to sample from. They repeat their tests with different populations to get better results on what is happening within each category or population.
    • Snowball Sampling - This kind of sampling is not done on an entire population to get data. It is conducted on a targeted audience or group that's hard for researchers to reach.

Survey and Polls Data Collection Method

Collecting data from a selected group of people is important for any research project. The most popular way to do this would be through surveys and polls. It gives you insight into what's happening within your specific demographic.

Researchers use four different criteria to measure question responses include nominal, interval, ordinal, and ratio scales. These are all important in answering questions!

It is important to use close-ended questions to analyze and rate your survey accurately. You should also respond with rating scales, which will help ensure the data collected has been helpful for analysis.

When it comes to surveying your customers, there are several different methods of research that you can use.

Below is information on how some companies distribute surveys and ask their target audience for the feedback!

  • Social Distribution - You can use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to collect more responses for your survey.
  • Email - Email management software is one of the most common ways when you want to distribute your survey.
  • SMS Survey - With SMS surveys, you can collect data more easily than before.
  • Buying the Respondents - This survey distribution method uses respondents' knowledge to collect the most accurate data possible.
  • QR code - Printed on business cards or magazines, a survey can be the perfect way to get feedback from your audience.
  • Embedding the Survey on a Website - You can increase your response rate with the survey by linking it to a website. Customers are more likely to participate in this interactive process and provide you with valuable feedback, which is perfect for collecting!

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Quantitative Research Data Analysis Techniques

The third important aspect of quantitative research is data analysis. When analyzing, it's important that results are relevant and related to your objective.

The following methods can be used for statistical analysis:

  • SWOT Analysis - It is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Businesses use this kind of analysis to evaluate their performance and develop appropriate strategies.
  • Conjoint Analysis - The analysis of this kind helps businesses to identify how customers make difficult purchasing decisions. By using advanced analytics, companies can be more understanding and knowledgeable about their target audience's preferences.
  • Cross-tabulation - A preliminary statistical analysis is an important part of the research process. This helps you understand patterns, trends, and relationships between various factors.
  • TURF Analysis - It stands for Totally Unduplicated Reach and Frequency Analysis. It allows for the collection and analysis of data, responding from a chosen or favored target group.

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Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Quantitative and qualitative research are major types of research. They're mostly used in subjects with detailed research patterns, so what distinguishes them from each other?

A comparison between the two is provided below.

Quantitative Research vs Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research Research Perspective Qualitative Research
Test the hypothesis and analyze research questions and aspects Research Objective Look for new ideas and research new elements
Testing and analyzing Research Method Observation and interpretation of the results
Structured Data Collection Method Unstructured
Uninvolved and the results are all-inclusive Researcher Involvement Involved and the results are detailed
Samples are large, and results are generalized Sampling Samples are small and in their natural state

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Benefits of Quantitative Research

The benefits of quantitative research are many, and researchers can benefit in ways that they may not have even considered. Here's a list of some strengths:

  • Straightforward Analysis - With a straightforward analysis, you can easily determine which statistical tests are appropriate. Eliminating any subjectivity in the data collection ensures that your findings will be accurate and easy to interpret.
  • Can Be Tested and Checked - The reliability of quantitative research is due to its careful experimental design. It allows for the replication of tests and results.
  • You can reduce bias in your data by making sure that it's more objective and transparent than other types of studies.

  • Prestige - Completing complex data analysis is impressive and valuable because not everyone understands maths or statistics.
  • Quantitative research has applications in all business areas, from picking stocks to evaluating portfolios. The association between prestige and value can be an incentive for your small businesses.

The ease of sampling and collecting quantitative data is why researchers prefer to use quantitative research methods. The second, more practical advantage of this type of study design? You can easily reproduce your findings!

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Drawbacks of Quantitative Research

Here are some limitations of quantitative research, a researcher should consider.

  • Difficulty Setting up a Research Model -
  • Setting up a research model is often a limitation to quantitative studies. These include errors committed during execution or design, which can invalidate all future results from the experiment if not fixed properly.

    When you conduct quantitative research, the accuracy of your results relies on developing a hypothesis. It also depends on setting up the model for collecting data. Any errors in setup or bias can invalidate all findings from this experiment altogether.

  • False Emphasis on Numbers -
  • The risks of overlooking big-picture information while focusing on numbers can make quantitative research limited.

    Researchers should be aware that they may overlook themes and relationships, which are worth exploring for the sake of business success.

  • Can Be Misleading -
  • Many people assume that because quantitative research is based on statistics, it's more scientific than observational, qualitative studies.

    But this isn't necessarily true! Both kinds of research can have subjective and flawed perspectives, likely bias your results.

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Quantitative Research Examples

The following are some examples of quantitative research to help you understand it better.

Sample Quantitative Research

Example of Quantitative Research for Students

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the tools used in quantitative research?

The most common way to collect data is by interviewing people and observing their behavior.

This type of observation can be done in person, over the phone, or online through surveys/interviews, etc.


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