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Quantitative investigations: Design, sampling, and analysis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Avdelningen för arbets- och organisationspsykologi.
2007 (English)In: The priciples of knowledge creation: Research methods in the social sciences, Elsevier , 2007, 23-45 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter aims to illustrate the relation between the objective of the research study, its sample and design, the choice of data analyses, as well as those conclusions that may be drawn. Quantitative research usually has as a goal to generalize the results to a larger population than the group under study, and by doing so achieving more general knowledge. Quantitative methods are often based on theories and the more developed the theories in an area is, the more the research question (the issue of what is the problem) can be of an explanatory nature. The prerequisites for correctly addressing the research question and drawing general conclusions depend on the how the sampling for the study is done (the issue of who should be investigated). Since non-representative samples limit the possibilities of generalizing to groups other than those studied it is important to begin by identifying and delimiting the population one wishes to know more about and proceed by drawing a representative (random) sample from this population. The context of the study (the issue of where) and the aspect of time regarding development of effects (the issue of when) may also affect the conclusions drawn. The chapter gives a review of the most common study designs (the issue of how) and illustrates that for each type of research question there is an optimal research design. Even if the choice of design may be restricted by factors such as economic resources or the time available, it is important to be attentive to those advantages and limitations associated with each design – and that these may affect the validity in the conclusions reached. The chapter also shows that conclusions regarding cause and effect are problematic, even if some designs, more than others, facilitate causal inferences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2007. 23-45 p.
Keyword [en]
research design, sampling, causal inferences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22019ISBN: 978 1 84720 488 2OAI: diva2:188546
Available from: 2007-12-18 Created: 2007-12-18Bibliographically approved

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Sverke, Magnus
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