- Quantitative research can be characterized as a linear series of steps moving from theory to conclusion, but the process described is an ideal type from which there are many departures.
- The measurement process entails the search for indicators.
- Establishing the reliability and validity of measures is important for assessing their quality.
- Can be characterized as exhibiting certain preoccupations, the most central of which are: measurement, causality; generalization; and replication.
- It has been subjected to many criticisms by qualitative researchers. These criticisms tend to revolve around the view that a natural science model is inappropriate for studying the social world.
Questions for Review:
The main steps in quantitative research
- What are the main steps in quantitative research?
- To what extent do the main steps follow a strict sequence?
- Do the step suggest a deductive approach to the relationship between theory and research?
Concepts and their measurement
- Why is measurement important for the quantitative researcher?
- What is the different between a measure and an indicator?
- Why might multiple-indicator approaches to the measurement of concepts be preferable to those that rely on a single indicator?
Reliability and validity
- What are the main ways fo thinking about the reliability of the measurement process? Is one form fo reliability the most important?
- Whereas validity presupposes reliability, reliability does not presuppose validity. Discuss.
- What are the main criteria for evaluating measurement validity?
The main preoccupations of quantitative researchers
- Outline the main preoccupations of quantitative researchers. What reasons can you give for their prominence?
- Why might replication be an important preoccupation among quantitative researchers, in spite of the tendency for replications in social research to be fairly rare?
The critique of quantitative research
- The crucial problem with quantitative research is the failure of its practitioners to address adequately the issue of meaning. Discuss.
- How central is the adoption by quantitative researchers of a natural science model of conducting research to the critique by qualitative researchers of quantitative research?
Source: Alan Bryman. 2004. P.81-82, Second Edition, Oxford University Press