Quantitative Design and Methods in Social Research

The methods used in survey give quantitative explanations of views, attitudes, or tendencies of a given sample. Surveying may be longitudinal or cross-sectional with questionnaires being one of the best tools for these methods (Babbie, 1990). The researcher makes most of the conclusions, based on a sample or a subset of population, representing the entire population. The constituents of the method of a survey plan include the population and sample, variables in the study, instrumentation, collection of data, processing of data, analysis of results, and the clarification of purpose.

The effect or influence of a group, using these methods is measured by assessing a particular treatment to one group and leaving the other one. Consequently, the performance of both groups is determined. It includes quasi and true experiments.

Thus, the experimental method and survey methods are quite different since researchers can carry out research in the field and another one in a discrete area, in which the outside is being minimally involved. They have also different methods when it comes to collection of data.

Research design and qualitative methods is a subject that prepares the learner to gain skills in research and carry out of the project or research in his or her own field. A lot of types of research design and quantitative methods are described herein and are of great help while carrying out research or doing a project. Quantitative methods include collecting, interpreting, analyzing and noting down the findings of the study (Creswell, 2003).

Surveying methods tend to use open-ended questions in questionnaires. Likewise, most of these questions are best suitable for interviews. In experimental methods, the researcher comes up with questions, which the respondents will answer in a particular experiment. There are no interviews or questionnaires used in this case.

Survey is different because it entails receiving information from people. Surveying methods can present data that is unreliable, depending on the respondents. This can lead to major flaws in the results formulated by the researcher. Experimental methods usually use a set of known procedures that can give accurate answers whose accuracy is higher than that of surveying.

Moreover, the research questions depend on the nature of research and the knowledge acquired from the field. Surveys use questionnaires in collecting data. The questionnaire needs to be relevant to the study the researcher is doing. The questions included in the questionnaire are usually representative of a specific sample of population. The surveyor should not assume that the respondent knows everything about the question in the questionnaire. Experimental methods are more direct and concise since the one carrying out the experiments has a clear idea about the results. Hence, the questions are accurate and direct to the point.

Reliability measures the constancy of the outcomes by carrying out a number of tests. It measures the consistency of the outcome or results. Reliability has three features, in particular, uniformity, equivalence, and internal strength. To assess reliability properly, there is a need for a good understanding of the three features when engaging in any practice of research.

Validity assesses the steadiness of an instrument in getting correct or consistent measurements. Validity can be content, construct, or concurrent validity, and construct validity among others. Validity helps in knowing the accuracy of instruments and its errors, and hence leads to getting results that are more accurate.

The popular quantitative methods in my discipline are usually the surveying techniques since most of the research work takes place in the field. The research methods involving surveying are more preferable for the course since they help one to get data from people in the field. Interviews and observation are the most popular methods followed by questionnaires.


Babbie, E. R. (1991). Survey research methods. Belmont, Calif: Wadsworth.

Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.: Sage Publ.