What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Quantitative Methods?

Among the benefits of quantitative research is that it lets scientists conduct broad research with many subjects, which produces more accurate results. Drawbacks include relatively rigid methods and lack of behavioral analysis on subjects.

Quantitative research is a useful tool for measuring and analyzing large amounts of data. It is ideal for understanding the relationship between a dependent and an independent variable. Researchers often use quantitative research to test their hypotheses in an experiment, to carry out statistical analysis and to conduct large-scale research on the general population, such as collecting data for a consensus.

People use quantitative research for specific purposes, including getting answers to questions that require numbers and frequency. Researchers might take surveys of citizens, for example, to determine the presence of certain behaviors and attitudes in relation to the broader public. To determine whether or not these trends exist at the group level, researchers must use a large sample size to compare results to other groups in the population. To carry out their studies, researchers generally survey at least several hundred people. They might also give people questionnaires to complete.

Common uses for quantitative research includes studying the behaviors of a certain group within a community, looking for behavioral patterns in a certain segment population, and finding out what percentage of the population remembers and understands certain messages.

Benefits of Quantitative Research In addition to providing researchers with a fast and efficient way of studying a large sample size, quantitative research yields objective results. Researchers gather objective, numerical data through quantitative research that is difficult to interpret in multiple ways. Because the data is straightforward, the results can be easily compared with other data. Another advantage of quantitative data is that it uses statistical methods of collection. This allows researchers to understand and interpret large amounts of inherent characteristics in the data. Lastly, the data that researchers collect through quantitative research can be put to future use by creating campaigns and programs targeted to the studied group. Quantitative research results can be disseminated anonymously, which makes participants more willing to join in the study and makes it easier to evaluate sensitive topics. Because of the large sample size, researchers may be able to apply the results of their study to the general population.

Drawbacks of Quantitative Research Although quantitative research gives individuals a fast and easy way to sample a large group, it also has some drawbacks. While the necessity to sample a large population size can be a benefit of quantitative research, it can also be a negative factor. Researchers have to gain access to that population, which can be time-consuming and costly. Another disadvantage is that participants in the study may be more willing to share certain pieces of information, which introduces the risk of bias. Since quantitative research does not allow for the in-depth study of behaviors and attitudes, researchers may not be able to ask detailed, probing questions. This might provide some limitations in the results of the study. Finally, there is generally a larger cost associated with quantitative research than other types of research. Individuals may face considerable expenses when tracking their targeted demographic, which includes spending money on travel-related food, lodging and transportation.