Before directly going to the quantitative type of research, let’s say a few points about the terminology research. Many scholars have defined research differently. For example, as cited by Singh (2006), Rusk has defined it as Research is a point of view, an attitude of inquiry or a frame of mind. It asks questions which have hitherto not been asked, and it seeks to answer them by following a definite procedure. It is not a mere theoritizing, but rather an attempt to elicit facts and to face them once they have been assembled. Similarly, Dornyei (2007) defined it as research means trying to find answers to questions, an activity every one of us does all the time to learn more about the world around us.
Hence, it is possible to infer that research is a systematic study of a certain problem by following a series of steps using different genres of research. The research can be done quantitatively, qualitatively or by the combination of both. In this assignment, the quantitative research type will be discussed in detail.
2. Definition of Quantitative Research
As stated above there are different types of research. One of the widely used types of research is quantitative research. According to Dornyei(2007) quantitative research involves data collection procedures that result primarily in numerical data which is then analyzed primarily by statistical methods. In a similar fashion Dawson (2009) stated that quantitative research generates statistics through the use of large scale survey research, using methods such as questionnaires or structured interviews. Therefore, all scholars agree that quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount that are applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity.
Quantitative research was originally inspired by the spectacular progress of the natural sciences in the 19th century and therefore, early social science researchers set out to adopt what was called ‘the scientific method’ in their investigation (Dornyei, 2007). Many scholars have contributed a lot for the development of this type of research.
As stated by Dornyei(2007) in applied linguistics, the period between 1970- 1985 has seen a significant increase of different types of research articles about quantitative research.
There are four main types of research questions that quantitative research is particularly suited to answer, according to Muijs (2004). They are: a. When we want a quantitative answer. For example, if we want to get answer for How many students choose to study education?And related questions, we should use quantitative research. b. Numerical change can likewise only accurately be studied using quantitative methods. For example, are the numbers of students in our university rising or falling? Is achievement going up or down? Hence in order to give response for the stated questions, it is vital to use quantitative research. c. If we want to know the state of something, we often want to explain phenomena. For example, what factors predict the recruitment of English language teachers? What factors are related to changes in students’ achievement over time? These kinds of questions can also be studied quantitatively. d. For the testing of hypotheses. For example, if we want to explain something whether there is a relationship between a pupil’s achievement and their self-esteem and social background, we could look at the theory and come up with the hypothesis that lower social class background leads to low self –esteem, which would in turn be related to low achievement. Hence, quantitative research can try and test this kind of model. 3. Main Characteristics of Quantitative Research
According to Dornyei (2006) the peculiar characteristics of quantitative research are pointed out as follows: a. Using of numbers: The single most important feature of quantitative research is, naturally, that...
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Muijs,D. (2004). Doing Quantitative Research in Education: with SPSS. New Delhi: Sage Publications
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