Skip to Main Content

Research Methods Simplified


Quantitative research- concerned with precise measurement, replicable, controlled and used to predict events. It is a formal, objective, systematic process. Numerical data are used to obtain information about the subject under study.

-uses data that are numeric

-primarily intended to test theories

-it is deductive and outcome orientated

-examples of statistical techniques used for quantitative data analysis are random sampling, regression analysis, factor analysis, correlation, cluster analysis, causal modeling and standardized tests

For comparative information on qualitative v.s. quantitative see: The University of Arkansas University Library Lib Guides

Related Information

Related Information

Control group- the group of subjects or elements NOT exposed to the experimental treatment in a study where the sample is randomly selected

Experimental group- the group of subjects receiving the experimental treatment, i.e., the independent variable (controlled measure or cause) in an experiment.

Independent variable- the variable or measure being manipulated or controlled by the experimenter. The independent variable is assigned to participants by random assignment.

Dependent variable or dependent measure- the factor that the experimenter predicts is affected by the independent variable, i.e., the response, outcome or effect from the participants that the experimenter is measuring.

Four types of Quantitative Research


1) Descriptive- provides a description and exploration of phenomena in real-life situations and characteristics. Correlational of particular individuals, situations or groups are described. 



2) Comparative- a systematic investigation of relationships between two or more variables used to explain the nature of relationships in the world. Correlations may be positive (e.g., if one variable increases, so does the other), or negative (correlation occurs when one variable increases and the other decreases).



3) Quasi-experimental- a study that resembles an experiment but random assignment had no role in determining which participants were placed on a specific level of treatment. Generally would have less validity than experiments.


Experimental (empirical)

Experimental (empirical)

4) Experimental (empirical) method- the scientific method used to test an experimental hypothesis or premise. Consists of a control group (not exposed to the experimental treatment, i.e.. is dependent) and the experimental group (is exposed to the treatment, i.e., independent)

Last Updated: Nov 8, 2022 2:13 PM