What are some advantages and disadvantages of quantitative methods?


Quick Answer

Quantitative methods are advantageous because they allow researchers to conduct a broad survey, which involves many subjects and generalization of findings. They also yield accurate results. On the other hand, quantitative methods are rigid and provide less detail on the motivation, attitudes and behavior of study subjects.

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Full Answer

Quantitative methods are standardized, making them effective in comparing research findings with similar studies. Additionally, they allow researchers to summarize vast sources of data. Quantitative methods are reliable and valid because they employ prescribed procedures. They also eliminate bias in a study because they involve many cases and few variables, which prevent researchers from using subjects known to them. Quantitative methods enable researchers to correlate independent and dependent variables in order to determine causality within a study framework. Furthermore, these methods allow researchers to control the data collection environment so that extraneous variables are not introduced into a study.

On the other hand, the University of Southern California notes that the use of standardized questions in quantitative research may cause structural bias. In fact, research findings may reflect the view of the researcher rather than those of the respondent. The findings of quantitative research methods are numerical and therefore lack a detailed narrative of human perception. The respondents may also provide answers that reflect their preconceived hypotheses. About.com notes that the generation and testing of hypotheses in quantitative research methods can be subjective and misleading. Structured instruments such as questionnaires are used to gather quantitative data.

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