Quantitative Research Methods
Quantitative means quantity which implies that there is something that can be counted. Quantitative research has been defined in many ways. It is the kind of research that involves the tallying, manipulation or systematic aggregation of quantities of data (Henning, 1986) John W. Creswell defined quantitative research as an inquiry into a social or human problem based on testing a theory composed a theory composed of variables, measured with numbers, and analysed with statistical procedures in order to determine whether the predictive generalisations of the theory holds true. (Creswell, 2003) On the other hand, another author defined quantitative research as the collection of numerical data in order to explain, predict and/or control phenomena of interest. Quantitative research is explaining phenomena by collecting numerical data that are analysed using mathematically based methods (Aliaga & Gunderson, 2000) Quantitative research can also be said to be a research based on traditional scientific methods, which generates numerical data and usually seeks to establish causal relationships (or association) between two or more variables, using statistical methods to test the strength and significance of the relationships (A dictionary of Nursing, 2008) Simply put, quantitative research reflects the philosophy that everything can be described according to some type of numerical system. It uses numerical analysis; in essence this approach reduces the data into numbers, for instance the percentage of teenage mothers in Lagos. The research knows in advance what he/she is looking for and all aspects of the study are carefully designed before the data is collected. Quantitative research methods reflect the philosophy that everything can be described according to some type of numerical system for instance The height of a person (In metres)
The weight of a person ( In kilograms)
The age of a person ( in years and months)
Quantitative Research is used to determine exact figures and facts. It is used to determine ‘precise measurements’ of things; it is also used to answer questions such as how much, how often, how many, when, and who (Cooper and Schindler, 2006). As quantitative research is essentially about collecting numerical data to explain a particular attribute, particular questions are more suited to be answered using quantitative methods for example I. How many males get a first class degree at university compared to females? II. What percentage of teachers and school leaders belong to ethnic minority groups? From the questions above, it can be seen that quantitative research methods emphasise on objective measurements and numerical analysis of data and generalising the results. It should be noted that many data that do not naturally appear in quantitative form can be collected in a quantitative way. This done by designing research instruments aimed at specifically converting phenomena that do not naturally exist in quantitative form into quantitative data, which can then be analysed statistically. Examples of this are attitudes and beliefs
Also a researcher can collect data on a wide number of phenomena, and make them quantitative through data collection instruments, which in turn implies that quantitative research methods are quite flexible. A common misconception about quantitative research methods that puts a lot of people off doing quantitative research is that the researcher needs to be an expert in mathematics and statistics; this is not entirely true because computer software allows the analysis to be done quickly and relatively easily. The process of quantitative Research
The researcher will have one or more hypothesis. These are the questions that they want to address, which include predictions about possible relationships between the things, they want to investigate (Variables), In order to find answers to these questions, the researcher will also have various instruments and...
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