QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN

 

Introduction

TO DO

Before we progress, just write down what you think quantitative methodology is about.

In other words, just write a quick definition of what you consider to be quantitative methodology in research, and then click on the link below to see if it matches the one that I have included.

definition

 

So, there are several points that we can consider when we look at quantitative methodology, in terms of what it actually is.

Quantitative research is:

In effect, to put it simply, quantitative research is concerned with numbers, statistics, and the relationships between events/numbers.

Research design

Before we progress to explaining what you need to do when writing about the design of your quantitative study, first of all carry out the task in the box below.

TO DO

Click on the hyperlink below to see the study design that was used for our example of a quantitative research proposal:

Y

 

Your research design has already been decided to a large extent by you earlier opting for either a research question or a hypothesis.

If you decided upon a hypothesis, then you made this decision because you have already decided that your study will be an experimental study in which you will be testing cause and effect relationships.

If, however, you decided on a research question, then you have far more options as to the research design, including:

                                (see also chapter 5 in the accompanying book)

Obviously which type of research design you use for your study will rely upon the aims and objectives of your study - which in turn are encapsulated within the research question/hypothesis.

All remaining aspects of your proposal will follow on from your study design, and this is why it is so important to get this right before moving on to these remaining aspects, including such concerns as:

 

Now it is time to try your hand at writing your proposal for a quantitative research study, and then, when happy that it will enable you to answer your research question, or to prove/disprove your hypothesis, you can add it to your developing research proposal.

 

Researcher detachment

There is one other thing that we need to think about when designing our quantitative research study, and that is the role of the researcher.

Quantitative researchers attempt to remain detached from the study, and from the sample (in studies where the sample is made up of human beings). They strive to maintain objectivity - in other words they try to not influence it with their own personal values, feelings, and experiences.

This is because quantitative researchers believe that researcher involvement in the study could bias it. By 'bias it', they mean that they do not want to sway the study towards the perceptions and values of the researcher, rather than allowing the hard scientific facts to hold sway. Biasing a research study is considered by scientists as being poor scientific technique -  and is definitely a no-no in quantitative research.

This of course is totally different to the attitude of many qualitative researchers, who whilst not wanting to bias their research still maintain that they cannot approach a study without considering their own perceptions and values, feelings and experiences, etc.

which research design     research design