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quantitative research

Definition of Quantitative Research

(noun) Using statistical analysis to quantify and measure social phenomenon, seeking to identify where possible causal relationships, then reporting the findings numerically.

Examples of Quantitative Research

Quantitative Research Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /ˈˌkwɑn(t)əˈˌteɪdɪv ˈriˌsərtʃ/
      • /ˈˌkwɑn(t)əˈˌteɪdɪv rəˈsərtʃ/
      • /ˈˌkwɑn(t)əˈˌteɪdɪv riˈsərtʃ/
    • British English
      • /ˈkwɒntᵻtətɪv rᵻˈsəːtʃ/
      • /ˈkwɒntᵻtətɪv ˈriːsəːtʃ/
      • /ˈkwɒntᵻteɪtɪv rᵻˈsəːtʃ/
      • /ˈkwɒntᵻteɪtɪv ˈriːsəːtʃ/
  • Syllabification: (quan·ti·ta·tive re·search)

Usage Notes

  • Plural: quantitative researches
  • Quantitative research is compared and contrasted to qualitative research.
  • Quantitative research is often viewed as reductionistic, whereas qualitative research is viewed as holistic. However, quantitative and qualitative research are complementary, not contradictory.
  • Reductively, quantitative research seeks to identify “how much” and “how often” and qualitative research seeks to explain the “how” and “why”.
  • Variant spelling: quantititive
  • Also called:
    • quantitative analysis
    • quantitative data analysis
    • quantitative method
    • quantitative research method
    • quantitative sociology
  • Researchers (adverb) quantitatively study topic’s (noun) quantitativeness to determine the appropriate research method.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Carrabine, Eamonn, Pam Cox, Maggy Lee, Ken Plummer, and Nigel South. 2009. Criminology: A Sociological Introduction. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

Ferris, Kerry, and Jill Stein. 2010. The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology. 2nd ed. New York: Norton.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Quantitative Research

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “quantitative research.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved September 21, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/quantitative-research/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

quantitative research. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/quantitative-research/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “quantitative research.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed September 21, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/quantitative-research/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“quantitative research.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 21 Sep. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/quantitative-research/>.