Quantitative research aims at (causal) explanation. It answers primarily to why? –questions Based on the idea that social phenomena can be quantified, measured and expressed numerically. The information about a social phenomenon is expressed in numeric terms that can be analyzed by statistical methods.
Purpose Of QuantitativeThe purpose of quantitativeresearch is to measureconcepts or variables that arepredetermined objectively andto examine the relationshipbetween them numerically andstatistically.
Strengths Of Quantitative Research Enables the research and description of social structures and processes that are not directly observable. Well-suited for quantitative description, comparisons between groups, areas etc. Description of change. Analysis and explanation of (causal) dependencies between social phenomena.
Weaknesses Of Quantitative Research Simplifies and ”compresses” the complex reality: abstract and constrained perspective. Only applicable for measurable (quantifiable) phenomena Presumes relatively extensive knowledge on the subject matter in order to be able to ask ”correct” questions. Difficult to study processes or ”dynamic” phenomena: produces static view of the reality Description of actors’ perspectives, intentions and meanings difficult.
Limitations of Quantitative Approach It is difficult to understand human phenomena e.g. when studying human behavior, it is possible only to study what is observable. So the phenomena is revealed partially. Some researches claim that many influences affect people’s response to questions i.e. it is not purely objective. Some standardized scales may be interpreted differently by participants.
Quantitative Research Techniques
Survey Research It is a method of descriptive research used for collecting primary data based on verbal or written communication with a representative sample of individuals or respondents from the target population. It requires asking the respondents for information either face-to-face or using the telephone interview, or through mail, fax or internet.
Survey Research Objectives: Most survey research studies attempt to identify and explain a particular marketing activity. Marketing surveys typically have multiple objectives. Although surveys are generally conducted to quantify certain factual information, certain aspects of surveys may also be qualitative. For example, testing and refining new product concepts is often a qualitative objective in a new product development. Has non-business application as well. [e.g. donor research].
Example What survey research objectives might Daewoo [motor car] develop to learn about car buyers? Consumer preference in design and features and how best to satisfy these preferences; shopping mall “intercepts”; mail interview etc. Demographic details, customer satisfaction; Testing certain aspects of advertising; Study product image.
Person Administered Surveys Direct, face-to-face Interview Indirect, non- face-to-face Interview
Direct, Face-to-face Interview Interviewer and interviewee see and talk to each other face- to-face. Includes In-home/In-office Interview Appointment first, Face to face Interview Needs Skill Mall Intercept Interview Interview outside home, in supermarkets, departmental stores, other public places
Face To Face Interview Advantages Disadvantages Direct interaction High cost Clarity and display of Longer time exhibits Interviewer bias Better quality and quantity Anonymity not maintained of data Interviewer cheating Higher response rate Time bias exists No sequence bias Field control needed Identifying respondents Unstructured
Indirect, Non- face-to-face InterviewThe interviewer and the interviewee do not see but talkdirect to each other. Telephone Interview
Telephone Interview Advantages Disadvantages Faster Results No exhibits Inexpensive Long interview not Better geographical coverage possible Irresistibility Reaching hard-to-reach people Inability to make judgment Timing: early or late OK Answering machines and Privacy and better control caller identification device Coincidental data: immediate Sampling problem feedback. Obsolete directory: poor sampling frame
Self-administered surveys Advantages Disadvantages Wide geographical Mailing list problem coverage Unidentifiable Providing thoughtful respondent answers Questionnaire exposure Ability to ask sensitive Data limitation questions No interviewer No interviewer bias assistance Inexpensive no exhibits Better control Assumed literacy Anonymity Poor response rate Clarity Longer time
A Questionnaire [Also Called Research Instrument] Data collection Six important functions instrument used for Converts research objectives into gathering data; specific questions A formalized Standardizes the questions Keeps respondents motivated to schedule of an complete the research assembly of a Serve as a permanent record carefully formulated Speed-up the process of data questions; analysis Reliability and validity purposes
Advantages of Open-ended Questions Since they do not restrict the respondent’s response, the widest scope of response can be attained. Most appropriate where the range of possible responses is broad, or cannot be predetermined. Less subject to interviewer bias. Responses may often be used as direct quotes to bring realism and life to the written report.
Disadvantages Of Open-ended Questions Inappropriate for self-administered questionnaire since people tend to write more briefly than they speak. The interviewer may only record a summary of the responses given by an interview and fail to capture the the interviewer’s own ideas. It is difficult to categorize and summarize the diverse responses of different respondents. May annoy a respondent and prompt him/her to terminate the interview, or ignore the mail questionnaire.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Closed-ended Questions ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES All respondents reply on a standard Preparing the list of responses response set. This ensures is time-consuming. comparability of responses, facilitates coding, tabulating and If the list of responses is long, interpreting the data. the respondents may be Easier to administer and most suited confused. for self-administered questionnaire. If the list of responses is not If used in interviews, less skilled comprehensive, responses interviewer may be engaged to do may often fail to represent the the job. respondent’s point of views.
Considerations in choosing a question format Nature of the property being measured Subjective Vs objective Previous research studies Need for comparison with past studies Data Collection Mode Telephone/face-to-face-interview/mail Scale level desired Statistical analysis Ability of the respondents
Comparative Evaluation of Various survey Methods.________________________________________________________________________ Face-to-face InterviewCriteria In-home/ Mall- Telephone Mail In-office intercept Interview SurveyFlexibility of data collection High High Moderate LowDiversity of questions High High Low ModerateSample control Potentially Moderate Moderate to Low high highControl of data collection Moderate to High Moderate Low environment highResponse rate High High Moderate LowShow of exhibits Yes Yes No NoQuantity of data High Moderate Low HighAnonymity of the respondents Absent Absent Moderate HighAccess to sensitive information Low Low High HighSpeed Moderate Fast Fast SlowCost High Moderate Moderate LowPotential interviewer bias High Moderate to Moderate Low
Causal Research/Experiments Experimental research is where participants are assigned to groups based on some selected criterion often called treatment variable. In causal research, the emphasis is on specific hypotheses about the effects of changes of one variable on another variable. Deals with cause-effect relationship. Involves experiment where an independent variable is changed or manipulated to see how it affects a dependent variable by controlling the effects of extraneous variables.
Characteristic Of Experimental Research The primary characteristic of experimental research is manipulation of at least one variables and control over the other relevant variables so as to measure its effect on one or more dependent variables. The variables (s) which is manipulated is also called an independent variables, a treatment, an experimental variables or the cause. Some of the examples of an independent variables could be: temperature, pressure, chemical concentration, type of material and conductivity
Continuing……. Experimental research will always have two or more groups for comparison on the dependent variables. It is the only type of research which can establish truly the cause and effect relations. Consider an Example: A researcher in technician education is interested in studying the effects of two methods of instruction structured lecture method and programmed instruction on the achievement of students in a course of one semester in Applied Mechanics. Sixty students in the class are divided randomly into two groups of thirty each.
The groups receive the specified treatment for an equal amount of time during the semester. The participants are measured for their performance on the achievement test before and after the programme so as to measure the gain. In this experiment, the experimental or independent variables is the method of instruction and the dependent variable, is the achievement of students. The difference in the gain on achievement between the two groups will show the effect of the methods of instruction.
Two Types of Experimental ResearchQuasi-experimental True experimental Specific hypothesis Specific hypothesis Researcher manipulates Researcher manipulates at least 1 variable at least 1 variable Assigns treatment at Assigns treatment at random to each group random to each group Has a control group Has a control group Cannot randomly assign Randomly assigns subjects to groups subjects to groups Typically uses intact classes
Quasi-experimental Quasi-experimental research is where participants are Pre- assigned to groups based on some characteristic or quality such as differences in sex, race, age, neighborhood, etc. These group assignments have already taken place before the experiment begins, and the researcher has no control as to what the people will belong to each group.
Experimental Research Examples Is teaching method A better in bringing about student learning than method B? Does a teaching unit on “Race Relationships” improve students’ racial tolerance?
Difference between Surveys and Experimental Designs The fundamental difference concerns the manipulation of independent variables. In surveys, an effect is observed and a search for a cause follows. In experimental research, on the other hand, independent variables are manipulated to establish a cause-effect relationship.