Basic Inquiry of Quantitative Research

Dr. R. Ouyang



Quantitative vs. Qualitative


v     Qualitative approach:

§         It includes historical research and qualitative research;

§         It collects narrative data to gain insights into phenomena of interest;

§         Data analysis includes the coding of the data and production of a verbal synthesis.


v     Quantitative approach:

§         It is categorized with descriptive research, correlational research, causal-comparative research and experimental research;

§         It collects numerical data in order to explain, predict and or control phenomena of interest;

§         Data analysis is mainly statistical.


Types of Quantitative Researches


v     Descriptive:  Descriptive research involves collecting data in order to test hypotheses or answer questions concerning the current status of the subjects of the study.  It determines and reports the way things are.


v     Correlational: Correlational research attempts to determine whether and to what degree a relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables.  However, it never establishes a cause-effect relationship.  The relationship is expressed by correlation coefficient, which is a number between .00 and 1.00.


v     Cause-comparative: Causal-comparative research: establishes the cause-effect relationship, compares the relationship, but the cause is not manipulated, such as "gender."


v     Experimental:  Experimental research establishes the cause-effect relationship and does the comparison, but the cause is manipulated.  The cause, independent variable makes the difference.  The effect, dependent variable is dependent on the independent variable.


Before Conducting a Quantitative Research


v     Research  plan: Research plan must be completed before a study is begun.  Why? 

§         The plan makes a research to think;

§         A written plan facilitates evaluation of the proposed study;

§         The plan provides a guide for conducting the study.

Ř      Components of a Research Plan :

§         Introduction:  It includes a statement of the problem, a review of related literature, and a statement of the hypothesis.

§         Method:  This part includes subjects, instruments-- materials if appropriate, design procedure.

§         Data analysis: A description of the statistical technique or techniques that will be sued to analyze study data.

§         Time schedule: The time schedule is equally important for both beginning researchers working on the thesis or dissertation and for experienced researchers working under the deadlines of a research grant or contract.  It basically includes a listing of major activities or phases of the proposed study and a corresponding expected completion time for each activity.

§         Budget: It should list all tentative expenses specifically and submitted to funding agency.  It includes such items as personnel, clerical assistance, travel and postage and other expenses, equipment, and fringe benefits etc.

v     Ethical consideration:

Ř      THREE ethical considerations are: 

§         The subjects should not be harmed in any way (physically or mentally) in the name of science.  If an experiment involves any risk to subjects, they should be completely informed concerning the nature of the risk and the permission for participation in the experiment should be acquired in writing from the subjects themselves, or from persons legally responsible for the subjects if they are not of age.   If school children are involved, it is a good idea to inform parents before the study is conducted if possible.

§         Subject’s privacy should be strictly confidential.  Individual scores should never be reported, or made public. 

§         Ethical principle in the conduct of research with human participants is the most definitive source of ethical guidelines for researcher.  It is prepared and published by the American Psychological Association (APA).  “.... with respect and concern for the dignity and welfare of the people who participate and with cognizance of federal and state regulations and professional standards governing the conduct of research with human participants.”   That is “to respect and concern for the dignity and welfare of the people who participate.”


Basic Concepts of Quantitative Research

a.      Introduction

                                                                                                               i.      Defining a problem

                                                                                                             ii.      Literature review

                                                                                                            iii.      Hypotheses

b.      Method

                                                                                                               i.      Population and subjects

                                                                                                             ii.      Instruments

                                                                                                            iii.      Design and procedures

c.       Results

                                                                                                               i.      Data and statistics

1.      Types of measurement scales

2.      Descriptive statistics

a.       Types of descriptive statistics

b.      Calculation for interval data

                                                                                                             ii.      Inferential statistics

1.      Level of significance

2.      Tests of significance

a.       t test for independent variables

b.      t test for dependent variables

c.       ANOVA

d.      Discussion                 

                                                                                                               i.      Interpretation of results

                                                                                                             ii.      Generalization

                                                                                                            iii.      Discussion of implications

e.       Conclusion and recommendation

                                                                                                               i.      Based on practical significance to draw conclusion and make suggestions.



Gay, L. R. (1996). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and application.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.


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