Quantitative research is the systematic, empirical investigation of phenomena using statistical, mathematical or computational techniques. It is objective. That is, it observes and represents facts without being influenced by personal feelings or opinions.
Dr. Robert Labaree of the University of Southern California Libraries states this about quantitative research: “Quantitative research deals in numbers, logic and the objective, focusing on logic, numbers, and unchanging static data and detailed, convergent reasoning rather than divergent reasoning.”
He goes on to say, “In quantitative research, your goal is to determine the relationship between one thing (an independent variable) and another (a dependent or outcome variable) in a population. Quantitative research designs are either descriptive (subjects usually measured once) or experimental (subjects measured before and after a treatment). A descriptive study establishes only associations between variables. An experiment establishes causality.”
A humorous presentation of qualitative vs quantitative research. The production was created as a midterm submission by students of East Tennessee State University's EDFN 5950 - Methods of Research course.
Published on Mar 6, 2012 | Runtime 4:36 min.
The Xavier University Library (Cincinnati, OH) provides this excellent table that compares the characteristics of Qualitative vs. Quantitative research.
Dr. Anthony Picciano is a professor in the graduate program in Education Administration and Supervision in the School of Education at Hunter College. He is also on the faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center in the PhD Program in Urban Education and the Program in Integrated Technology and Pedagogy.
This video is one from his introductory lectures. See a list of all his videos here.
Runtime: 2:27 min.