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Quantitative Research Design

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Quantitative Research Design

Quantitative research design relates to the design of a research project which uses quantitative research methods. The design varies depending on the method used, which could be telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, online surveys, or surveys by post  for instance. Other methodologies include SMS / Test Message surveys, or physical counts.

Quantitative research design is aimed at discovering how many people think, act or feel in a specific way. Quantitative projects involve large sample sizes, concentrating on the quantity of responses, as opposed to gaining the more focused or emotional insight that is the aim of qualitative research. The standard format in quantitative research design is for each respondent to be asked the same questions, which ensures that the entire data sample can be analysed fairly. The data is supplied in a numerical format, and can be analysed in a quantifiable way using statistical methods. Surveys can, however, be tailored to branch off if the respondent answers in a certain way - for instance people who are satisfied or dissatisfied with a service may be asked different questions subsequently.

Quantitative research design tends to favour closed-ended questions. Providing respondents with a set list of answers, they will not normally be able to give lengthy open-ended responses. This design ensures that the process of quantitative research is far more efficient than it would be if qualitative-style open ended questions were employed. It is more efficient because it is then not necessary to carry out the time-consuming process of coding vast quantities of open-ended responses.  However, quantitative research design does often allow the inclusion of an ‘Other’ category in the list of possible responses to questions, where appropriate. This allows those respondents who do not fit directly into the main categories to still get their precise responses recorded and used in the analysis of the research project results.

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