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Types of Quantitative Research


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What is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research refers to the collection and evaluation of numerical data to test a hypothesis, or to identify patterns and correlations within the numbers. Quantitative research is different from qualitative research that involves the collection and evaluation of non-numerical data. 

Quantitative research is concerned with identifying the facts about different social phenomena. It employs the use of statistical data so that numerical comparisons and statistical inferences can be made in attempt to verify or refute the hypothesis of the study.

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Types of Quantitative Research


Types of Quantitative Research

There are four main types of quantitative research designs and they are:

  1. Descriptive Research Design
  2. Correlational Research Design
  3. Quasi-experimental Research Design
  4. Experimental Research Design 

Descriptive Research Design 

Descriptive research is used to understand a phenomenon, a situation, or a population. Unlike experimental research, descriptive research does not involve the manipulation of certain variables. Rather, it seeks only to observe and measure the variables in order to investigate them. 

This research design is used when trying to identify characteristics, categories, and trends. The most common methods of collecting descriptive research is through case studies, observations, and surveys. 

Correlational Research Design

Correlational research is a non-experimental research method used to identify a relationship between two variables with no influence from any extraneous variable. 

The correlation between the two variables will reflect the direction and/or strength of their relationship. The direction of correlation can either be positive or negative, where a positive correlation denotes that both variables change in the same direction, and a negative correlation denotes that the variables change in opposite directions. A zero correlation denotes that there is no relationship between the variables being studied. 

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Quasi-Experimental Research Design

Similar to the experimental research design, quasi-experimental research also aims to identify a cause-and-effect relationship between two variables; an independent variable and a dependent variable. However, quasi-experiment involves subjects being assigned to groups based on non-random criteria. This is different from a true experiment that relies on the random assignment of subjects.

This research design is often employed when true experiments cannot be carried out due to practical or ethical reasons. A notable advantage of this design is that it has a higher external validity than most true experiments, as it often involves real-world interventions as opposed to an artificial laboratory setting. 

Experimental Research Design

Experimental research, also known as true experimentation, aims to measure the effect of one or more independent variables on one or more dependent variables with the use of the scientific method. This is done by manipulating the independent variable to study its effects on the dependent variable. This experimental research design involves conducting a set of procedures to test the hypothesis of the study. Subjects within experimental research are randomly assigned to groups rather than being assigned to groups using non-random criteria. 


FAQs on Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is used when a study aims to measure certain variables or test a hypothesis.

The following are a few key advantages of quantitative research: 

  • Larger Sample Size
  • Cost-Effective
  • High Data Accuracy
  • Low Scope for Bias

These are a few characteristics if quantitative data:

  • Large Sample Sizes
  • The use of Closed-ended Questions
  • The use of structured tools to collect quantitative data

Correlational research is used to test the strength and direction of association between two variables. Experimental research, on the other hand, is used to test the cause-and-effect relationship between variables by manipulating the independent variable to measure its effects on the dependent variable.

Secondary quantitative research can be conducted in a range of ways. Data can be collected from educational institutions, commercial information sources, public libraries, government sources, and data available online. 

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