This commentary will analyse the key principles of the research methods used in the research of students attitudes to politics, society and crime. It will discuss where this research lies on the inductive/deductive spectrum and why, the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative methods of research in relation to the survey and finally why quantitative research methods were preferable to qualitative research methods for this research.
Characteristics of quantitative research in relation to questionnaire In this research a questionnaire was created to examine student’s attitudes to politics, society and crime. The questionnaire was set up with multiple choice answers for questions, answers on a scale of 1-10 and some questions required a short qualitative answer. Bryman (1992) states that surveys are one of the key vehicles of quantitative research. Quantitative research uses scientific methods to study people and is the preferred research method of positivists, quantitative research creates mathematical results which can be compared and contrasted on a large scale in the belief that this approach establishes facts through quantification. Quantification has been defined as. “the sum of standardization, measurement and number- is crucial to the natural science approach, because it renders the concepts embedded in theoretical schemes or hypotheses observable, manipulable, and testable.” (Hammersly 1993:15) The intellectual underpinnings of Quantitative research are positivism, measurement, causality, generalisation, replication and individualism. The method of data collection and analysis used for this questionnaire would be favoured by positivists as positivists believe that scientific methods are the best way to test a thesis and gain accurate results based on large numbers of people. The measurement of this survey relates to how crime affects university students. This survey shows causality, as it includes dependant and independent variables such...
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