Nova A.
Nova A.

What is Quantitative Research - Definition & Examples

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Published on: Jun 6, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 3, 2023

quantitative research method

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To collect data for some kind of research, we need to follow a particular method. This method directs us to the standard way and helps us to keep our research process organized.

Conducting research is not an easy thing to do, and one can easily get distracted by irrelevant information.

The two major methods of conducting research are quantitative and qualitative research methods. It further depends on the researcher which approach he finds more appropriate for their research.

This blog will bring out the quantitative research methodology details to help you with your research work.

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What is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research is one of the methods of collecting numerical data only. It is also known as a phenomenon of investigation in which quantifiable information is collected. On the collected data, different mathematical, statistical, and computational techniques are applied for analytical purposes.

When collecting quantitative research data, methods like surveys, online polls, and different questionnaires are used. The results from all these sources are then presented in the form of numerical values.

Researchers who study social sciences use this type of research methodology very often. The expert analysts study the final results, draw conclusions, and make predictions.

Types of Quantitative Research

The following are the types of quantitative research.

Characteristics of Quantitative Research

Quantitative research investigates how two different things present in the same environment are related to each other. The design for quantitative research is usually found to be descriptive or based on experiments.

Some essential characteristics of quantitative research are:

  • This type of research is usually done on the data with large sample size.
  • Before the process of data collection starts, the research paper topic is studied in detail. This is done to ensure that in which direction the researcher should move.
  • The data collected is presented in the form of numerical values rather than in textual form.
  • Statistics, tables, different types of charts, and figures might represent the collected data and the concluded results.
  • Quantitative research is conducted on a large data size. Therefore, it can be used to generalize the concepts or to predict future results.
  • When conducting and collecting qualitative research data, online questionnaires, interviews, or polls might be used.

Design for Quantitative Research

The quantitative research study depends on the researcher whether he wants to keep the research descriptive or experimental. It is necessary to identify this because it helps the researcher to decide how data will be collected and analyzed.

Following is the procedure to formally start quantitative research.

  • Introduction

To formally introduce a quantitative research study, it is recommended to address the target audience in the present tense. A researcher should include the following information in the introduction:

    • The introduction is the first part of the research paper writing, so it must clearly state the research problem. This should be stated in easy and expressive words to make the reader easily understand the concept.
    • A literature review is yet another essential part of the introduction. Give a review of the previously done research related to your topic. Highlight the gaps in the previous research and explain how you will fill in those gaps.
    • Provide a theoretical framework for your research topic in the introduction. Create a formal outline of the hypothesis supporting your research. A better approach, in this case, is to define complex terms and background information about the research problem.
  • Methodology

The methodology of the quantitative research study describes how all the standard objectives of the research will be achieved. This section of the research paper must be detailed and explain all the aspects clearly.

The methodology section should do the following:

    • Explain the sample data and the process of sampling. It should let the reader know from where the data is being collected and under what conditions. Also, it should explain the authenticity of the data that has been used as a reference in the study.
    • The methodology should include data collection methodology. Mention the tools and methods that were used to collect the relevant information. Also, mention the variables that you have measured.

      Make sure that you mention the qualities and drawbacks of the data sets you have used.

    • In the methodology of quantitative research, you must let the readers know how you analyzed the data. Describe the standards you used for the analysis and deriving the statement of the result.
  • Results

The results you draw from the research and statistical mathematical analysis should be presented in an understandable format.

The quantitative research results are usually presented in the form of graphical figures, tabular forms, other non-textual elements.

  • Discussion

Quantitative research should discuss the subject in both analytical and logical aspects. It should also give a glance at the comprehensive discussion. The discussion should be done in a way that all parts of the research paper should be related to each other.

Quantitative research should discuss the following elements:

    • Interpret the results.
    • Describe the trends in the research.
    • Compare different data sets collected for the study.
    • Explain the cause and effect relationship between the variables used in the research.
    • Discuss and explain the implications.
    • Highlight the key findings from the research.
    • How have the results helped fill gaps in the research problem?
    • Limitations of the research.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of the quantitative research topic.
  • Conclusion

To conclude, research is the most technical thing to do. However, it is the simplest thing but is considered a complicated element.

A conclusion should serve in the following ways:

    • A conclusion should start with a summary of the key points of the research. Summarize all the findings and the answers to your research questions. Any element from the statistical data should not be added to the conclusion.

      Explain all your learnings and what do you personally conclude from all the research processes.

    • The element that makes a conclusion really impressive is a section of recommendations. Mention in a few sentences what you would recommend for the case study and the overall research process.
    • The conclusion should have an indication regarding future research. Refer to a wider population of studies related to your research.

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Limitations of Using Quantitative Methods

Like any other method, quantitative research methods also have some limitations associated with them.

  • Quantitative data is considered to be more accurate and efficient, but it seems to lack contextual details.
  • It is a rigid process and has no flexibility when it comes to the data collection process.
  • The data collected from this type of research is usually conservative and superficial.
  • The results derived from this type of research are usually less descriptive rather than detailed.
  • This type of research does not bring human perceptions into account.
  • This research often uses laboratory or experimental results as a reference rather than results from the real world.

Quantitative Research Methods

To conduct quantitative research, there are some methods that a researcher needs to follow.

  1. Descriptive Method: This is a more elaborative method that describes a process in terms of real-life situations.
  2. Comparative Method: This method helps to investigate and study the relationship between more than one object. It explains how both the objects are related in different aspects. The relationship might be related positively or negatively.
  3. Quasi-experimental Method: It is an experimental investigation but is less valid than the experiments based on real-life situations.
  4. Experimental (empirical) Method: This method of investigation is used to work on the deduced results of the hypothesis. It works on a controlled group both to draw the final conclusions.

Advantages of Using Quantitative Research Methods

When it comes to researching, the researcher has two options of research methodologies to choose from. Let’s see how the quantitative research method can help the researcher in this regard.

  • It helps to conduct research on a large amount of data. It has a wide horizon and allows the researcher to do a broader study. Also, it involves the generalization of calculated results that makes the conclusion easy.
  • The results deduced from this research are most probably accurate or next to accurate. As this research follows the trend of generalization, thus it incorporates a few variables and many study cases.
  • Quantitative research data can be replicated. It helps in the data analysis and then compared it with other similar study cases.
  • To avoid personal bias in quantitative research, stay away from incorporating subjective data and using accepted computational techniques.

Disadvantages of Using Quantitative Research Methods

Along with having so many benefits, quantitative research has some drawbacks as well. It sometimes can not stand for a complex piece of data. Some other limitations of quantitative research are as follow:

  • Superficial Data

    The data used in quantitative research is precise and restrictive. That is why it makes it difficult to explain the objects with the help of definitions. The complex objects can not be defined in general terms in this type of research.

  • Narrow Focus

    The data used for this type of research is usually predetermined. This might lead you to ignore some more relevant and updated observations.

  • Unstable Structure

    Quantitative research has a set of standardized procedures. Still, there might occur some structural biases that can affect the natural setting of the research method.

    The instability includes missing data, major deviations in measurements, or using wrong data collection methods. This eventually leads to the wrong deduction of the conclusion.

  • Lack of Context

    Quantitative research often uses sources like laboratories or fails as their rating scales to analyze historical and cultural aspects. It is a kind of unnatural approach that has a direct effect on data collection and results.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

There are some significant differences between qualitative and quantitative research approaches. A researcher needs to know how to use a particular approach where it is required correctly.

It is very obvious from the terminology itself. In quantitative research, we analyze and collect the data on the basis of numerical values and definite measurements. Whereas in qualitative research, we focus on the worldly meaning of the objects.

Qualitative research works on one specific issue or topic. On the other hand, in quantitative research, a researcher has to work on multiple focus groups. After the data is collected from these sources, conclusions are drawn.

Moreover, the nature of quantitative research data is mostly particularistic, whereas qualitative data is holistic in nature.

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Quantitative Research Examples

Some examples of quantitative research papers are given below. Use them as a guide to writing such a research paper for your quantitative research topic.

Poverty is one of the biggest threats and issues of our society. A big portion of the population is struggling to get out of this situation and trying to adopt a reasonable lifestyle. Here is a quantitative research analysis that was done on the issue of poverty.

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Nova A.


Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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