Types of Quantitative Research: With Examples

Types of quantitative research is a basic and essential knowledge that must be known by all researcher. It’s almost use in every aspect in our life.

Quantitative research is a very close research model in various fields of science. With this approach, a researcher will more easily make a test or calculation that can be used in making decisions.

By conducting a quantitative approach, a study is expected to provide accurate and empirical results and information.

As a researcher, determining the right type of quantitative research design is a fundamental part. When picking the right one. It helps you to answer the research problem.

Identification of research problems, defining goals, and the data collection method is an integral part of choosing the best type of quantitative research.

Definition of quantitative research

Quantitative research is research that uses quantitative data, problems, phenomena, or variables. In this model, we will approach various information in numerical form.

Quantitative research is often referred to as structured research.

This is because the process of conducting quantitative research is very neat and orderly starting from the objectives, design, sampling, compilation of questionnaires, data processing, validation, until the presentation of results must be carried out in full to maintain the quality of the results of the research.

Sometimes, qualitative research such as perspective research can turn into quantitative research if there is a process of quantifying information (changing qualitative data to quantitative data).

The main purpose of quantitative research is to find out the relationship of one variable to another

Type of quantitative research


In general, quantitative research is divided into 2 groups:

1. Exploratory research

Exploratory research is research that is usually done to find out in more detail an issue, topic, or problem. Typically, this research is conducted when the scope of research is unclear or too broad.

This research is usually carried out as a preliminary form of research that is more structured to test various concepts and definitions that are uncertain. In exploratory research, it may be that the results obtained are objectives, problem formulations, sampling designs, or better methodologies for future research.

Do you remember the term pilot survey? Approximately, that’s the form of exploratory research.

The thing to watch out for in conducting exploratory research is that the results you get cannot be used to estimate populations. You also have to be careful in giving conclusions about the results of the study because there is still a lack of information that you use in the study.

2. Conclusive research

Conclusive research is a type of research that aims to get conclusions based on objectives and problems.

Conclusive research is divided into 2 types:

I. Descriptive research

Descriptive research is research that discusses descriptive data of a population being studied and does not aim to determine the causal relationship between variables. This is also one of the limitations of descriptive research because it cannot determine the variables that influence or have a relationship with the issue we are examining.

Typically, descriptive research is used to explain an event or event that requires accurate data. For example, when we discuss the population in a country, we will mention population data based on gender, population growth trends, population density, etc.

Descriptive research is divided into 5 types:

1. Case studies

Case studies are a type of descriptive research in which someone describes data from a condition, phenomenon, or event. Case studies are often used by many people as a representative method to describe a research subject such as success stories, business failures, life struggles, etc.

An example of a case study is the presentation of a case of a cancer patient in a city.

2. Case study series

Case study series are descriptive research for several cases at once.

For example, research on the success stories of children who have managed to get satisfactory grades in several schools.

3. Cross-sectional study

A cross-sectional study is a study that aims to provide an overview of the situation in general where the variables in this study are assessed only once to obtain the relationship between variables. An example of this study is a survey of public opinion on a condition.


4. Longitudinal studies

Longitudinal studies are studies of the same object but are continuously studied up to more than 1-time point. Longitudinal studies are divided into three types namely trend studies, cohort studies, and panel studies.

Trend studies are repetitions of cross-sectional studies in which a set of questions is asked to different groups of people or populations at different times. The main object in this study is the question or variable to be examined.

Cohort studies are studies that study changes in the same group over time. In this study, variables are measured at the beginning of the study, then measured again at predetermined times, especially at the end of the study period.

The main object in this study is to find out how the characteristics of the research objects change over time.

Panel studies are studies that study a group of objects or populations in which the same question continues to be asked for a certain period of time. The main object in this research is how the research object changes from time to time.

5. Retrospective changes

Retrospective change is research that aims to compare cases with certain characteristics of control subjects without attributes to determine cause-effect relationships.

For example, research on diabetic patients with the amount of sugar consumed each day. This study is known as a case-control study because this research focuses on conditions that might result in the subject being a case.


II. Causal research

Causal research is a type of research that aims to determine the causal relationship between variables. In this study, we must determine which variables are causative and which are causal variables. This causal relationship will emerge and be detected in the statistical process itself.

Usually, we refer to causal variables as independent variables and effect variables as dependent variables.

Basically, causal research is a type of research that is quite difficult to carry out. This is caused by the difficulty of determining the causal relationship between predetermined variables. It may be that there are various factors and other variables that are not measurable that might make the relationship between variables inexplicable.

In research related to psychology, behavior, or perception, there are a lot of psychological factors that may not be realized by respondents so that they provide biased answers.


There are two types of causal research:

1. Experimental study

An experimental study is a study conducted in the form of a contracted group and a group of experiments. Each sample is given random treatment into the group.

A researcher may do an experiment by manipulating all the independent variables specifically with the aim to find out what will happen to the dependent variable.

In this study, the researchers tried to monitor and control all factors that might affect the experimental results. Researchers are also free in determining various things related to the situation and conditions in the study. Does the research follow a natural mechanism or is it arranged so that it gives a better output?

Research-based on time series is the simplest example in this study.

For example, how the impact of changes in plant height before and after being given fertilizer. We can measure the height of these plants in a period of 1 month. Does applying fertilizer have a significant effect on plant height growth?

2. Quasi-experimental study

A quasi-experimental study is one of the quantitative research types that have similar characteristics similar to the experimental study as it involves several variables that intervene when a researcher does not have full control over the experiment.

This study is often used in various medical studies or medicine where it is very difficult or even impossible to have full control of the population.

Quasi research is a type of quantitative research that is designed to explain or clarify why an event or phenomenon occurs.

The main purpose of quasi research itself is to assess causal relations. A quasi research design was developed to examine causality relationships where conditions that are not possible or difficult have full control over the research subject.

Difference between quantitative and qualitative research

One of the main differences in quantitative and qualitative research is the existence of proof of hypothesis by researchers. This hypothesis will be tested through a series of procedures in accordance with the criteria to determine whether the initial hypothesis is true or not.

In qualitative research, because the main objective is to dig up as much information as possible, hypotheses are not used at all and may not be useful at all.

However, in quantitative research, hypotheses are as much as possible built with the support of appropriate data and methodologies so as to be able to prove things that are considered true by researchers.

Examples of quantitative research in sociology

Now, let us immediately see an example of the use of quantitative research in sociology.

In this article, I would like to use experimental study of causal research quantitative model. This is the most popular types of quantitative research especially in social and economic model.

To be honest, I’m someone who likes research on poverty. This is very interesting because poverty is a complex problem that must be solved by all countries.

There are many poverty models that you can form. You can find various references in various scientific journals that are spread on the internet.

However, for this example, let’s assume that we want to know the variables that affect the crime rate as in the following example.

  • Criminality rate = dependent variable
  • Fuel price = independent variable
  • Interest rates = independent variables
  • Inflation = independent variable

Here is the research quantitative model you may produce.

First, you can do descriptive analysis to explain and describe the condition of the variables.

You could explain the mean, median, mode, variance, and so on in each variable.

From the variables mentioned above, you can form a multiple linear regression analysis models. From the results of the analysis, you will know which independent variables have a significant influence on the level of crime in a country.

Do not forget to do goodness of fit test to ensure that your model is the best to predict the independent variable.



In general, there are 2 types of quantitative research; exploratory research and conclusive research.

Conclusive research consists of descriptive research and causal research.

Descriptive research consists of 5 types; case studies, case series studies, cross-sectional, longitudinal, retrospective.

Causal research consists of; experimental and quasi-experimental studies.

By knowing various types of quantitative research, you can easily design a model and design research. Quantitative research is certainly very interesting because it provides absolute results that can be translated into numbers.

However, don’t forget that all types of quantitative research always has restriction where there are many things that cannot be controlled in the research subject.

Do not hesitate to leave a comment!