Samples Research Quantitative Research Critique

Quantitative Research Critique

570 words 2 page(s)

Quantitative research is defined by Creswell (2013) as a means of testing some objective theories, when the researcher examines the relationship existing among variables. In their turn, the variables are subject to measuring, usually by instruments, in order to provide data that can further be analyzed with the help of statistical procedures. It involves deductive testing of theories, setting protections against bias, setting control over alternative explanations, and possibility to generalize the findings and replicate them. It is set within the post-positivist framework of knowledge development. This necessarily involves exploration of cause and effect relationships, reduction to specific variables, posing hypotheses, and testing theories. The key methods that are used within the qualitative research approach are surveys and experiments.

The key benefit of quantitative research its capacity to generate statistically reliable data. Quantitative data, which aims to provide answers to the research questions of what, who, how much, how, how many, where, when, takes the numerical form and allows the researcher to figure out ratios, averages, and ranges. Quantitative research questions seek to identify causality, relationship, and influence.

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Quantitative research is advantageous when the research problem necessitates 1) identifying factors which impact the outcome; 2) checking the intervention utility; 3) understanding those predictors of outcomes that are the most influential. Overall, quantitative research methods should be used when an explanation or some theory should be tested (Creswell, 2013).

On a more detailed level, the benefits of quantitative research are as follows:
– It is used in studies which involve large amounts of data to be collected.
– Its result is thought to be more “objective” because it uses numerical data and is quantifiable. In other words, it utilizes the standards of reliability and validity (Creswell, 2013).
– Because of quantifiable data, its result is considered to be generalizable to greater populations.
– It uses unbiased approaches.
– It allows testing variables to the given study.
– If used over a period of time, it allows for development of quantitative indicators.

As for disadvantages of quantitative research, they include:
– Quantitative research may is time-consuming and based on large samples
– It is restricted by the use of close-ended questions, e.g. in surveys; it is restricted by the use of pre-determined approaches.
– It neglects the human element in the study, which is very important. In other words, it does not bring personal values or collect participant meanings.
– It does not create an agenda for reform
– It does not generate text or image data
– It does not validate accuracy of findings
– It does not generate a holistic account
– It requires the use of special data analysis software or Excel, Access, etc.
– It does not generate theories, just tests them (Creswell, 2013).

Importantly, quantitative research, which is explanatory, is not applicable when exploratory research needs to be done. To illustrate, it is not used in cases when some new phenomenon or a new concept need to be understood given the lack of research into it. In these cases, qualitative research is used.

Overall, the choice of the research method should depend on the nature of the research problem, the formulation of the research question and research goals, skills of the researcher, his/her values and beliefs, as well as time and funding. If properly conducted, quantitative research can be a reliable and highly valid method of explaining various phenomena.

  • Creswell, J. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. SAGE Publications.

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