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Types Of Quantitative Research – Difference Between Quasi-Experimental And Experimental Research

Quantitative Research
Susan Wray
September 06, 2022

Research is simply a systematic process of investigation designed to study material from different sources to reach a new set of conclusions. To put it simply, when you review a new website to know about its most selling products, you conduct research. Likewise, suppose you call several relatives to get feedback on the educational standards of a school before enrolling your child in a new school; you also conduct research. In the first example, the research is conducted by collecting numerical data about the selling insights of a product. At the same time, in the latter, you gather reviews, opinions, and feedback before reaching a final conclusion. In a nutshell, the studies that collect numerical data are termed quantitative research, and the one dealing with textual data is considered qualitative research.

In science, both qualitative as well as quantitative studies have their own place. All in all, it is the nature of the problem that needs to be solved through research that decides which type of research can best solve a scientific problem. After getting basic know-how about the research process, let’s come to the topic of discussion for this article, ‘Types of quantitative research’.

Quantitative Research- A Brief Introduction:

Quantitative research refers to the detailed process of collecting and analysing data in numerical form. It is applied to studies aiming to find patterns, averages, predictions, cause and effect relationships, and generalised results for a wide population. Most researchers belonging to science fields such as biology, chemistry, psychology, and marketing choose the quantitative design of study because of its accuracy in measuring outcomes.

Related Article: All You Need To Know About Quantitative Research

Types of Quantitative Research:

Generally, quantitative research can be conducted via descriptive research, correlational research, and experimental or quasi-experimental research method. Let’s briefly discuss each one by one:

Descriptive Research:

This research method is helpful to reach a certain set of conclusions if a research’s main purpose is to understand a phenomenon, situation, and characteristics of a population. This type of research can be conducted without manipulating variables. Describing traits, steps, and different phases of a process completes the researcher’s goals behind carrying out research using the descriptive method of research. All in all, such methods of research only involve the identification and measurement of variables to investigate them.

For example, suppose as a researcher one aims to find the income of all the employees working in a public sector firm and its relationship with the employee’s performance. It will be an example of descriptive research as it must involve quantitative figures in the form of employees’ salaries that will be linked with their relationship with employee performance (a descriptive process).

Related Article: Applied & Theoretical Research – Importance and Differences

Correlational Research Design:

Correlational research design helps quantitative researchers in investigating the relationship between different variables without manipulating them. Instead, it finds the relationship between variables in a way it naturally exists. The correlational research’s outcomes may be positive as well as negative. Both cases allow researchers to reach certain inferences. A positive correlation between variables occurs when they all change occur in a similar fashion; for example, if height increases, the weight of a mouse also increases. However, negative correlation occurs when changes are observed in a different direction. For example, if working hours increases, time for personal grooming decreases.

Correlational research can be used for describing the non-causal relationship between variables, the causal relationship between them, and testing new measurement tools.

Related Article: Application of Inquiry and Research in Academic Writing

Experimental Research:

Scientist mostly relies on experimental research design for conducting quantitative research. The reason behind its popularity, especially in life sciences studies, is it allows the researchers to manipulate variables in a controlled fashion. It starts by collecting samples for study, passes by some grouping participants, and ends by analysing data telling the whole story to unveil all hidden facts about the topic of interest. It usually means to manifest the cause and effect relationship between different variables (dependent and independent).

For example, if a researcher is planning research to find the effect of a medicinal plant on the recovery from diabetes, then random assigning of participants can help reveal the facts.

Quasi-experimental Research:

The only similarity between experimental and Quasi-experimental research is that they both are meant for finding the cause and effect relationship between two or more groups of variables. In quasi-experimental research, the researcher uses a relatively different approach to categorise participants into different groups. Instead of randomly assigning the experimental groups to all participants involved in a study, it focuses on some characteristics of participants for grouping.

For example, if the purpose of a study is a more precise evaluation of the suggested dose of a selected medicine to find its effect on the diabetes recovery rate. Then, the research method will be quasi-experimental if different groups are formed based on the age, gender, or BMI of the participants.

Related Article: What is the Role of Replication studies in Quantitative Research?

Difference Between Experimental Research and Quasi-experimental Research:

Have the above-mentioned definitions of experimental and quasi-experimental research seemed confusing? Don’t worry. The following section will help you in clearing your understanding by highlighting some differences between the two.

  1. In experimental research, participants are grouped randomly. Contrastingly, the quasi-experimental design focuses on certain traits of participants for grouping them.
  2. In the former type, all participants have an equal chance to contribute to the outcomes of a study. In the latter, only a certain type of participants can go through certain types of circumstances.
  3. Experimental research is useful for studies where a researcher solely aims to find generalised results by taking personal characteristics for granted. Quasi-experimental studies help in finding the effect of personality traits on the final outcomes.
  4. Experimental quantitative research does not include a pilot study or pre-test as a necessity, while quasi-experimental research may include both.

Getting all these things at your fingertips quickly is indeed difficult. It is the experimental or quasi-experimental research design that confuses most novice researchers. If you are also facing such problems, you can seek help from some cheap dissertation writing services, either in audio-text or written documents.

Related Article: Research Methods For Dissertation – Difference Between Observational And Experimental Methods

Final Thoughts: 

All in all, quantitative researches are necessary to understand, especially for medical students. Rapid selection of a research design for achieving certain aims and objectives is a matter of expertise. To become a research expert, you must keep collecting all the necessary information by reading as many informative articles as possible.

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