Udemy logo

types of quantitative researchQuantitative research is a type of empirical investigation. That means the research focuses on verifiable observation as opposed to theory or logic. Most often this type of research is expressed in numbers. A researcher will represent and manipulate certain observations that they are studying. They will attempt to explain what it is they are seeing and what affect it has on the subject. They will also determine and what the changes may reflect. The overall goal is to convey numerically what is being seen in the research and to arrive at specific and observable conclusions.

If you’re going to be conducting quantitative research, you might want to check out Udemy’s course on writing an effective research paper. There you will find information to help you understand how to conduct your own research, as well as how to interpret the research of others and arrange it into a cohesive paper.

There are four basic types of quantitative research: survey, correlational, causal-comparative, and experimental. But we must first understand how quantitative research works.

How Quantitative Research Works

To better understand this style of research we need to break down its major tenets. There are three: observing and explaining something that happens, collecting information, and analyzing the information. The combination of these three parts is at work when presenting clear and well-researched findings.

Observing and explaining occurrences is the first step. The search for this explanation can be presented in the form of a question. It can also be expressed as a hypothesis. In the case of a hypothesis the search for an explanation is made as a statement to be proved of disproved – depending on the goals of your research.

The collection of information in quantitative research is what sets it apart from other types. Quantitative research is focused specifically on numerical information, also known as ‘data.’ Because the research requires its conductor to use mathematical analysis to investigate what is being observed, the information collected must be in numbers.

The last step of the research revolves around using mathematics to analyze the ‘data’ collected. This is done with statistics. When most people think about quantitative research they think specifically about statistics. You might want to check out Udemy’s Introductory Statistics course. It can help you to better understand how to crunch numbers for better quantitative research practices.

Now, let’s go over the four types of quantitative research:

Survey Research

Survey research uses interviews, questionnaires, and sampling polls to get a sense of behavior with intense precision. It allows researchers to judge behavior and then present the findings in an accurate way. This is usually expressed in a percentage. Survey research can be conducted around one group specifically or used to compare several groups. When conducting survey research it is important that the people questioned are sampled at random. This allows for more accurate findings across a greater spectrum of respondents.

It is very important when conducting survey research that you work with statisticians and field service agents who are reputable. Since there is a high level of personal interaction in survey scenarios as well as a greater chance for unexpected circumstances to occur, it is possible for the data to be affected. This can heavily influence the outcome of the survey.

There are several ways to conduct survey research. They can be done in person, over the phone, or through mail or email. In the last instance they can be self-administered. When conducted on a single group survey research is its own category. However survey research can be applied to the other types of research listed below.

You’ve probably taken part in several survey research projects, since they are extremely common. Have you ever received a receipt from a store or restaurant where you’re asked to call a number at the bottom to participate in a survey and be entered to win? Have you ever been asked to “stay on the line” to answer a few questions after an experience with a customer service rep? Have you ever been asked to give your thoughts after visiting a website? These are all examples of survey research.

Correlational Research 

Correlational research tests for the relationships between two variables. Performing correlational research is done to establish what the affect of one on the other might be and how that affects the relationship. Correlational research is conducted in order to explain a noticed occurrence. In correlational research the survey is conducted on a minimum of two groups. In most correlational research there is a level of manipulation involved with the specific variables being researched. Once the information is compiled it is then analyzed mathematically to draw conclusions about the affect that one has on the other.

Remember, correlation does not always mean causation. For example, just because two data points sync doesn’t mean that there is a direct cause and effect relationship. Typically, you should not make assumptions from correlational research alone.

Causal-Comparative Research 

Causal-comparative research looks to uncover a cause and effect relationship. This research is not conducted between the two groups on each other. Rather than look solely for a statistical relationship between two variables it tries to identify, specifically, how the different groups are affected by the same circumstance. Causal-comparative research involves ‘comparison.’ In causal-comparative research the study of two or more groups is done without focusing on their relationship. As always the use of statistical analysis is engaged to synthesize the data in a clear method for presentation.

Experimental Research 

Though questions may be posed in the other forms of research, experimental research is guided specifically by a hypothesis. Sometimes experimental research can have several hypotheses. A hypothesis is a statement to be proven or disproved. Once that statement is made experiments are begun to find out whether the statement is true or not. This type of research is the bedrock of most sciences, in particular the natural sciences. If natural sciences, such as biology, are something you are interested in you should check out Udemy’s course on writing an A+ Biology Paper. It will help you use the types of quantitative research to great effect.

Quantitative research can be exciting and highly informative. It can be used to help explain all sorts of phenomena. The best quantitative research gathers precise empirical data and can be applied to gain a better understanding of several fields of study. Now that you’ve compiled your research, it’s time to start writing. There is no better way to get started then with Udemy’s course on how to write a great research paper. The world of information is waiting for you. What will you find?

Page Last Updated: February 2020

Top courses in Market Research

Market Research students also learn

Empower your team. Lead the industry.

Get a subscription to a library of online courses and digital learning tools for your organization with Udemy Business.

Request a demo