Quantitative research seeks to quantify and generate numerical data for reasons, opinions, behaviour and motivations. Quantitative research requires larger sample sizes (e.g. a minimum of 100 respondents) because it is often used to extrapolate data to the general population.
Methods of quantitative research include face-to-face surveys, telephone surveys, email surveys, conjoint analysis, opinion polls and online surveys. For a survey to be quantitative it needs to have a suitable sampling methodology (e.g. random sampling or quota sampling) that ensures respondents are representative of the population being measured.
However, the measurement tool (e.g. the questionnaire), the timing and location of the survey can also strongly influences the validity of any research results. See Why are Voice of Customer surveys fundamentally flawed? Research by psychologists suggests that people often don’t have full access to the reasons why they make decisions as much of our behaviour is instinctive and driven by hidden motivations and emotions. This means care needs to be taken when using traditional forms of research that rely on self-reporting.
Also see qualitative research.
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