Are you going to work on a quantitative research design for the dissertation? Before you embark on your dissertation writing journey, you must understand the different research methods you can use. You must understand that quantitative research methods are different from qualitative ones, and using the wrong method to conduct research can have disastrous consequences on your results. Therefore, this article aims to discuss different quantitative research methods in detail.
Which Quantitative Research Methods Can You Use for Writing a PhD Dissertation?
You can divide quantitative research methods into two main categories: experimental and non-experimental. Researchers need to know the change of one variable (dependent or independent) and how it affects the other (dependent or independent). For this purpose, researchers use quantitative research methods in their dissertation projects. Quantitative research methods employ the general procedures: of developing a research hypothesis, formulating an operational definition, collecting and analyzing empirical data to test the hypothesis. Here, all experimental and non-experimental methods are mentioned below for your better understanding:
1. Descriptive Quantitative Research Method
One of the most commonly used quantitative research methods is the descriptive one. This quantitative research method evaluates the whole population to identify relationships between two or more variables. Here, you have to be very careful about the selection of variables. A little mistake while selecting a variable can set a whole different track for research, and you would not be able to meet the right end result of a study. The best approach of having variables is to critically evaluate the research question.
Furthermore, the descriptive quantitative research method is usually used when surveying everyone in a given population is impossible. For example: when it’s difficult to survey people across cultures or countries, or when surveys can’t measure individual differences. Also, it is used when you might not want to get into detail about how much people drink, but instead, look at age-related drinking patterns. This quantitative method helps you get insights into the designed problem.
2. Correlational Quantitative Research Method
Are you trying to answer a question like whether people with similar characteristics are more likely to experience something? Then correlational research may be your best stake. This study measures relationships between variables but does not include an experimental group, and it does not measure cause and effect. Correlational studies often take place over a long period (for example, 10 or 30 years), which means they can reveal long-term effects rather than just short-term ones. From several quantitative research methods, the correlation method is one which helps you come up with three aspects. It includes zero, negative and positive correlations. A brief description of these correlations is mentioned below:
- Zero Correlation: whenever a research study shows you that there is no relation between selected variables, it means zero correlation exists between them.
- Negative Correlation: at the time of finding a relationship between different variables, you may find that the change in one variable is opposite to the change in other variables. In simple words, when there is an inverse relationship between the change of variable, this type of correlation is termed a negative correlation of research.
- Positive Correlation: when conducting research, you can also find a positive correlation between variables. In a positive correlation, you can see that the change relation is direct. Suppose, one variable is increasing in value. In positive correlation, the second variable will also increase at the same rate.
- Causal-Comparative Quantitative Research Method
From the list of quantitative research methods, when you come to the causal-comparative research method, you can find a way to compare variables. This quantitative method is used to compare two variables in the research. This type of research is useful when the researcher needs to study the pre-existing data variables. Its purpose is to discover new things by comparing two different variables. It works well for innovative research results, so it gets worth it in every era. Innovation is the demand of every era, that is why researchers keep focusing on the causal-comparative research method.
If you study the comparative method in detail, you will find that pattern obtained after the analysis of collected data is the thing which helps in defining results. By keeping the patterns in front of you, you can better identify if there are similarities in the behaviour of variables. Similarly, you can determine the differences. At the time of using the causal-comparative method, you have to come up with dependent as well as independent variables. The independent variable helps to explore the behaviours of the dependent variable. Most of novel researchers find it challenging to work on causal-comparative methods. If you are also one of such researchers, you can ask expert writers working at a service like PhD dissertation help. They can help you well in a cost-effective way.
3. Experimental Quantitative Research Method
The experimental method is used to find the effects of different research variables. The researchers, through this method, evaluate the dependence of different variables on each other. It focuses on the dependent or independent variables. This kind of research is mostly used in social sciences, physics and psychology studies. This method uses an experimental method to analyze the cause-effect relationship between a group of variables.
You can better understand the experimental method with the help of an example. Take an example of hospital where doctors collect blood samples of different patients. When a doctor determines the condition of a patient, he concludes results by comparing the collected values with the standard values of a particular disease. In this way, it becomes easy to find the desired and identified ranges. Different quantitative research methods have a particular purpose, while experimental quantitative methods focus on manipulation and control protocol. Based on the purpose of study, you can further explore experimental quantitative research methods, including the following designs:
- Pre-experimental research design
- True experimental research design
- Quasi-experimental research design
The above-mentioned quantitative research methods can help you broaden your vision. By reading the details of each method, you can better identify which method is best suitable for your research. Consequently, you can generate reliable and precise results from a quantitative research.