by Amonpak Na Nakorn, Prince of Songkla University
Dr. Anupap Somboonsavatdee talked about quantitative research methods, highlighting the explicit and easy to compare advantages of quantitative research. Good quantitative research should have good variables and measures, good sample and design and good method for data analysis. Quantitative research should be clear about the three following elements:
1. Be clear about research objectives
Good research questions should be specific and empirically testable. Research hypotheses are the possible answers of the research questions. Statistical hypotheses must be relevant to research questions and choices of method for data analysis. Research objectives should be significant, attractive and feasible.
2. Be clear about data
“Good” sample is a “good” representative of the population. There is a need to collect good sample from conceptual definition and operational definition including research objectives and knowledge about population. Limitations can help guiding you on how to select sample. Variables needed should be able to support the answer of research questions, should be related to research questions, easy to collect, and provide good measures. The types of variables are ratio, interval, ordinal, or nominal that will be effective to different methods for data analysis.
3. Be clear about data analysis and interpretation of results
Choose appropriate methods for data analysis and use them correctly. If one is not sure what method to use, go back to research questions/hypotheses and gathered data. More advanced methods are not always better, but they are always harder to handle. The interpretation of results shouldn’t be difficult if research questions are clear, the data are relevant, and the methods for data analysis are appropriate. It is recommended to use numbers or graphing if possible for presenting the results. Choose appropriate statistical methods, for example, descriptive statistics, basic inferential techniques, causal inferential techniques, nonparametric techniques, and advanced technique.