Quantitative Research Methods
[Cons] [Common Uses] [Resources]
research methods in market research when:
- You want
to know “how many” and/or “how often”
- You want to profile a target audience by determining what proportion
of the audience has certain behaviors, behavioral intentions, attitudes,
and knowledge related to the health concern, and whether specific
determinants predict behaviors at a statistically significant level.
quantitative market research generally involves:
a large group of people (usually several hundred), and
a structured questionnaire that contains predominantly closed-ended,
To design and conduct a quantitative survey, you should consider getting
input from a survey expert. Together you will need to consider issues
related to designing an appropriate sample, using valid and reliable
measures, and conducting a pretest before the survey study is launched.
Most surveys are custom studies designed to answer a specific set of
research questions. Some surveys are omnibus studies, in which you
add questions about your topic to an existing survey.
Surveys can be conducted face-to-face, by mail or telephone, or by
computer. They can be self-administered or administered by an interviewer.
Tools such as computer-assisted telephone interviewing or touch-screen
surveys via a Web site can be useful.
the survey involves a convenience sample (e.g., a mall intercept
data can be collected and analyzed fairly quickly
the survey involves a statistically valid random sample, the results
from the sample can be generalized to the entire population
if the response rate is high enough
can provide reliable (i.e., repeatable) direction for planning
programs and messages
can be anonymous, which is useful for sensitive topics
qualitative research methods, surveys can include visual material
and can be
used to pretest prototypes
can generalize your findings beyond your participant group.
have a limited ability to probe answers
who are willing to respond may share characteristics that don’t
apply to the audience
as a whole, creating a potential
bias in the study
can be very costly.
the proportion of your target audience within a community
the proportion of a target audience that practices a behavior
the proportion of a target audience that recalls a message.
qualitative and quantitative methods, see the Qualitative/Quantitative
Scroll to your method of interest in the Tools for Research.