The Nature of Quantitative Research
Quantitative Research Defined:
According to Huysamen (1997), “descriptions of quantitative research typically discern a cycle of successive phases of hypothesis formulation, data collection, analysis and interpretation.” Using a deductive approach, quantitative research seeks to establish facts, make predictions, and test hypotheses that have already been stated. A large part of the data analysis of quantitative research is statistical, striving to show that the world can be looked at in terms of one reality; this reality, when isolated in context, can be measured and understood, a perspective known as positivism (Gay &
Airasian, 1999). Quantitative researchers are those who find themselves “treat(ing) their objects of study as having an existence independent of themselves and without any intrinsic meaning” (Huysamen, 1997).
The Differing Characteristics of Qualitative Research:
Somewhat in contrast to quantitative research is the practice of qualitative research.
Whereas quantitative research is positivist in its outlook, qualitative research has a non-positivist perspective; this theory holds the view that the world itself is made up of different people with different perspectives and therefore, has many different meanings and contexts. While quantitative researchers work mostly with numerical data, qualitative researchers use mainly “non-numerical data such as observations, interviews, and other more discursive sources of information” (Gay & Airasian, 1999). Another difference between the two types of research is that where quantitative research seeks to find evidence which supports or does not support an existing hypothesis, “qualitative designs allow the hypotheses to emer. .vey Isn’t Research.” Counselor Education and Supervision, 31, 194-195.
Gay, L. R., & Airasian, Peter. (1999). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Application, Sixth Edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
K. (1997, March). “Parallels Between Qualitative Research and Sequentially Performed Quantitative Research.” South African Journal of Psychology, 27, 1-8.
Johnson, R. Burke.
(1997). “Examining the Validity Structure of Qualitative Research.” Education, 118, 282-293.
McCullough, Dick. (1997). Quantitative vs.
Qualitative Marketing Research. Online. Retrieved September 18, 1999 from the World Wide Web: http://www.macroinc.com/articles/
Urban Wallace & Associates. (1995).
Quantitative Research. Online. Retrieved September 18, 1999 from the World Wide Web:http://www.uwa.com/marketing/consultants/homepage.htm#Questions