A multidisciplinary research and teaching department of the University of Oxford, dedicated to the social science of the Internet. The workshop will discuss using quantitative methods in social media research. Abstract Videos This half-day session will focus exclusively on using quantitative methods in social media research.
The generation of models, theories and hypotheses The development of instruments and methods for measurement Experimental control and manipulation of variables Collection of empirical data Modeling and analysis of data Quantitative research is often contrasted with qualitative researchwhich purports to be focused more on discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships, including classifications of types of phenomena and entities, in a manner that does not involve mathematical models.
Although a distinction is commonly drawn between qualitative and quantitative aspects of scientific investigation, it has been argued that the two go hand in hand. Positivist scholars like Comte believed only scientific methods rather than previous spiritual explanations for human behavior could advance.
Quantitative methods are an integral component of the five angles of analysis fostered by the data percolation methodology,  which also includes qualitative methods, reviews of the literature including scholarlyinterviews with experts and computer simulation, and which forms an extension of data triangulation.
Quantitative methods have limitations. Statistical methods are used extensively within fields such as economics, social sciences and biology.
Quantitative research using statistical methods starts with the collection of data, based on the hypothesis or theory. Usually a big sample of data is collected — this would require verification, validation and recording before the analysis can take place.
Causal relationships are studied by manipulating factors thought to influence the phenomena of interest while controlling other variables relevant to the experimental outcomes. In the field of health, for example, researchers might measure and study the relationship between dietary intake and measurable physiological effects such as weight loss, controlling for other key variables such as exercise.
Quantitatively based opinion surveys are widely used in the media, with statistics such as the proportion of respondents in favor of a position commonly reported. In opinion surveys, respondents are asked a set of structured questions and their responses are tabulated.
In the field of climate science, researchers compile and compare statistics such as temperature or atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Empirical relationships and associations are also frequently studied by using some form of general linear modelnon-linear model, or by using factor analysis. A fundamental principle in quantitative research is that correlation does not imply causationalthough some such as Clive Granger suggest that a series of correlations can imply a degree of causality.
This principle follows from the fact that it is always possible a spurious relationship exists for variables between which covariance is found in some degree. Associations may be examined between any combination of continuous and categorical variables using methods of statistics.
Measurement[ edit ] Views regarding the role of measurement in quantitative research are somewhat divergent. Measurement is often regarded as being only a means by which observations are expressed numerically in order to investigate causal relations or associations.
However, it has been argued that measurement often plays a more important role in quantitative research. This is because accepting a theory based on results of quantitative data could prove to be a natural phenomenon. He argued that such abnormalities are interesting when done during the process of obtaining data, as seen below: When measurement departs from theory, it is likely to yield mere numbers, and their very neutrality makes them particularly sterile as a source of remedial suggestions.
But numbers register the departure from theory with an authority and finesse that no qualitative technique can duplicate, and that departure is often enough to start a search Kuhn,p. In classical physics, the theory and definitions which underpin measurement are generally deterministic in nature.
In contrast, probabilistic measurement models known as the Rasch model and Item response theory models are generally employed in the social sciences. Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique for measuring social and psychological attributes and phenomena.
This field is central to much quantitative research that is undertaken within the social sciences. Quantitative research may involve the use of proxies as stand-ins for other quantities that cannot be directly measured.
Tree-ring width, for example, is considered a reliable proxy of ambient environmental conditions such as the warmth of growing seasons or amount of rainfall. Although scientists cannot directly measure the temperature of past years, tree-ring width and other climate proxies have been used to provide a semi-quantitative record of average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere back to A.
When used in this way, the proxy record tree ring width, say only reconstructs a certain amount of the variance of the original record.
The proxy may be calibrated for example, during the period of the instrumental record to determine how much variation is captured, including whether both short and long term variation is revealed. In the case of tree-ring width, different species in different places may show more or less sensitivity to, say, rainfall or temperature: In the social sciences, particularly in sociologysocial anthropology and psychologythe use of one or other type of method can be a matter of controversy and even ideology, with particular schools of thought within each discipline favouring one type of method and pouring scorn on to the other.
The majority tendency throughout the history of social science, however, is to use eclectic approaches-by combining both methods.
Qualitative methods might be used to understand the meaning of the conclusions produced by quantitative methods. Using quantitative methods, it is possible to give precise and testable expression to qualitative ideas.
This combination of quantitative and qualitative data gathering is often referred to as mixed-methods research. Survey that concludes that the average patient has to wait two hours in the waiting room of a certain doctor before being selected.
An experiment in which group x was given two tablets of aspirin a day and group y was given two tablets of a placebo a day where each participant is randomly assigned to one or other of the groups. The numerical factors such as two tablets, percent of elements and the time of waiting make the situations and results quantitative.to the International Quantitative Research and Applications Conference (IQRAC)!
Universiti Putra Malaysia through the Institute for Mathematical Research (INSPEM) with the Malaysian Academy of Mathematical Scientist (AISMM) are delighted to co-organise IQRAC This glossary lists the most common methods and approaches, particularly for quantitative research.
See also the glossary of qualitative plombier-nemours.compping methods are listed in both glossaries. Qualitative versus qualitative Classifications Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Purpose To understand & interpret social interactions.
To test hypotheses, look at cause & effect, & make predictions. Group Studied Smaller & not randomly selected.
Larger & randomly selected. Through a variety of multi-client projects, with various media research topics, TDG produces a quantitative media report.
This works through a limited number of anonymous partners that come together, all sharing an interest in a specific research topic.
This produces a comprehensive media report that benefits all. National Centre for Research Methods and New Social Media, New Social Science?
(NSMNSS) This will be the second seminar of the "New Social Media, New Social Science" project, organised by the OII, NatCen Social Research and Sage. The workshop will discuss using quantitative methods in social media.
Introduction. The field of education has embraced quantitative research designs since early in the 20th century. The foundation for these designs was based primarily in the psychological literature, and psychology and the social sciences more generally continued to have a strong influence on quantitative designs until the assimilation of qualitative designs in the s and s.