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Types of Research: Quantitative


Quantitative research is a method of inquiry that focuses on collecting and analyzing numerical data. In other words, it deals with information that can be quantified or measured in numbers. This allows researchers to identify patterns, trends, and relationships between variables.

Here are some key characteristics of quantitative research:

  • Numerical data: It relies on data that can be expressed in numbers, such as statistics, survey responses, or experimental results.
  • Large samples: Quantitative studies typically involve collecting data from a large sample of participants to ensure generalizability of the findings to a wider population.
  • Structured instruments: Data is often collected through standardized methods like surveys, questionnaires, or experiments with predetermined answer choices.
  • Statistical analysis: Researchers use statistical techniques to analyze the numerical data and test hypotheses about relationships between variables.

Note: Imposed Numerical Values

Sometimes researchers look at qualities or characteristics that aren't inherently numerical and assign numbers to represent them. For example, a survey might ask you to rate your satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being least satisfied). Here, the numbers represent levels of satisfaction, a concept that isn't inherently numerical.

Randomized Controlled Trials

A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is a scientific experiment considered the gold standard for testing the effectiveness of interventions like medications, treatments, or even educational programs. It involves splitting participants into groups and randomly assigning them to receive either the intervention being studied (experimental group) or a control condition (control group).

RCTs are a form of quantitative research. They rely on measuring outcomes and statistically analyzing the data to determine if the intervention has a statistically significant effect. This measured data allows researchers to compare the results between the groups objectively and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the intervention.


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