Quantitative research is a type of research methodology that involves a collection of numerical data to answer a specific research question. Taking this definition one step further Christiansen goes on to note that quantitative research is a descriptive type of research where the goal is to attempt to provide an accurate description or picture of a particular situation or phenomenon. Rather than utilizing the cause and effect relationships that are common to quantitative methodologies, qualitative investigations attempt to identify variables that exist in a given situation and, at times, to describe the relationship that exists between these variables. To accomplish this task statistical data is typically utilized.
Methods of Quantitative Research
With a basic understanding of quantitative research clearly elucidated, it is now possible to consider the specific methodologies that are utilized in this context. Through a careful consideration of the various methods that utilize quantitative research it will be possible to demonstrate not only the differences between quantitative and qualitative research but also the importance of this type of research to scholarly investigation. Although statistical data is a linchpin of qualitative research methods, it is evident that there are a myriad of ways in which to acquire data.
Defining the basic context of the correlational study you may observe that this method involves measuring two specific variables and attempting to quantify the relationship that exists between these variables. Correlational studies are important because they demonstrate the specific relationships that exist between two variables. If A can be correlated with B, other variables correlated with B may also have relationships to A. Thus, by delineating the specific relationships that exist between two variables researchers can make a number of predictions about the impact of other variables in the same or similar situation.
What is perhaps this interesting about the correlational study is that it provides a mechanism for ensuring internal validity. Fraenkel and Wallen go on to argue that a correlational study poses no possibility of manipulating implementers. As such, the results obtained in this context can be stringently verified with regard to statistical analysis. For this reason, the correlational study provides one of the most salient means for the quantification of data in a given experiment. The ability to statistically quantify results serves as the basis for promoting the integrity of data collected through this process.
Ex-post Facto Study
The ex-post facto study is unique because it requires the investigator to determine the specific variables for analysis after the research has been completed. According to Ary and Suen (1989) the ex-post facto study utilizes a sample population that is similar to that of the general population. In this context, a similar variable is identified that links the subject population together. Subjects are broken into various groups and exposed to the same experimental conditions. Observations are made by the researcher to discern if there are differences in behavior based upon the notable differences among individuals in the population. Through this process, the researcher is able to investigate subjects in a naturalistic environment and to draw conclusions about what specific variables will influence behavior and outcomes.
A longitudinal studies makes the following observations, Longitudinal studies investigate developmental changes that take place at the time. The longitudinal study involves choosing a single group of participants and measuring them repeatedly at selected time intervals to note the changes that occur over time in the specified characteristics. The longitudinal study provides a salient means for collecting data with respect to the age and development of the subject. In particular, longitudinal studies often involve children, as researchers seek to discern how specific variables change through the course of growth and development. In this context, the longitudinal approach can provide marked insight into the process of change.
Meta-Analysis can be used to synthesize the large volume of data describing numerous independent variables and their correlations with reference accuracy. Meta-analysis enables researchers to utilize information from past studies to better understand the specific variables that impact a subject. Typically, meta-analyses are undertaken for the purpose of synthesizing extensive amounts of work on a particular subject. Utilizing the data that has been collected in previous investigations, researchers can synthesize information to better understand the subject and to develop new research methodologies that specifically target the gaps in information that are identified through the process of meta-analysis.
The survey is defined as a method of collecting standardized information by interviewing a representative sample of some population. Although the survey is one of the most popular methods for quantitative investigation, over the course of the last several years, the integrity of this method has been questioned. In most cases surveys involve direct contact with the population under investigation. Although well-established survey methods can be utilized for investigation, in many cases researchers seeking to understand a new facet of a particular population will develop a survey whose validity and reliability have not been proven. Even though specific methods for the development of surveys have been presented in the literature, utilizing a survey that has not been validated can serve as the basis for corrupting the integrity of data collection.
Christensen, L.B. (2001). Experimental Methodology (8th Ed). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Related Research Paper Topic Suggestions
Action Research - Action research is a form of self-reflective research paper. Custom written action research papers from Paper Masters for Undergraduate or Graduate level students.
Biases Research - Biases in Research essays discuss why it is important for researchers to acknowledge their biases when conducting research.
Collaborative Research - Paper Masters specializes in collaborative research and theory driven research papers. Paper Masters can help with your collaborative research project or find you refrences that are examples of collaborative research in any field of study.
Data Analysis - Data analysis within research discusses the process used for inspecting and modeling data in order to discover useful information.
Data Warehouse - Research papers on data warehouse discuss the repository of data from a host of sources, that deals with the business at hand.
Empirical Analytical Inquiry - Custom written research papers based upon empirical-analytical research studies from Paper Masters.
Empirical Article - Empirical Article research papers examine a type of writing for articles that relies on scientific data derived from observation and/or experimentation.
Evaluation Research - Evaluation research from Paper Masters provides custom written applied research that is based on systematically evaluating a program, action or policy.
Experimental Method - Experimental Method is a type of research methodology that uses either quasi-experimental or true experimental methodology to conduct a study.
Hermeneutic Research - Custom written undergraduate or graduate level hermeneutics research papers that focus on the interpretation of texts, events and recorded interactions.
Historical Comparative Research - Custom written historical comparitive research projects from Paper Masters - Specialists in all forms of research studies at the graduate and undergraduate level.
How To Write a Literature Review - How to write a literature review - according to Paper Masters, the experts in custom research papers and lit reviews.
Inferential Statistical Procedures - Analysis of inferential statistical procedures in academic research papers and studies. Capstone projects, Theses and doctoral projects often include inferential statistical procedures.
Literature Review Approach - How to approach writing a literature review using top-down and bottom-up research strategies.
Measurement Construction - Measurement Construction Research Papers look at a sample of an order placed on a data collection instrument with specific variables to measure.
Phenomenology - Custom written phenomenology research papers that describe a type of research known as phenomena. How or why something occurs is important in academic studies.
Qualitative Dissertation - Paper Masters shows you how to write a Qualitative Dissertation. Our writers know how to write graduate and Masters Level research and can provide you with a perfect example of how to write qualitative research for academic credit.
Qualitative Research Methods - Qualitative Research Methods research papers on the research employed in academic disciplines that seek to understand an aspect of human behavior.
Qualitative Research Report - How to analyze qualitive research reports. Tips to defining the problem statement, study purpose, research methods and data collection in a qualitative study.
Qualitative Studies - Qualitative studies such as grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography, ethnomethodology and descriptive studies are outlined.
Quantitative Research Design - Quantitative Research Design term papers look at an order on a graduate level project on quantitative statistical analysis.
Regression - Regression predicts future outcomes on past performance. Many types of academic research papers use regression analysis to illustrate data that was collected in a study. Paper Masters provides custom regression analysis in any research project.
Secondary Data Collection - Secondary Data Collection and search strategies can be divided into three criteria: data retrieval methods, data location, and Internet searching.
Statistical Hypothesis Testing - Statistical hypothesis testing in academic research papers and master's theses.
Statistical Testing Error - Learn about statistical testing errors from Paper Masters. Research papers often contain statistical testing errors.
Survey Case Study Research Method - A combination of the survey research method and the case study research method is used to collect data. Sociology term papers are available at Paper Masters.
Theoretical Inquiry Research - Theoretical Inquiry in research papers from Paper Masters match your exact needs because they are custom written by professional writers.
Theoretical Orientation Hypothetical Case - This project consists of a detailed written case summary, formulation, and treatment plan based on theoretical orientation for a hypothetical patient.
What is Correlation - Correlation in an academic study is examined in light of statistical analysis.