Quantitative Methods

11

QuantitativeMethods

Portfolio

Learningtakes place in different ways within a given class setting. A courseunit gives particular insight on a subject and the content becomesrelevant in different aspects of life. For this three units, I havelearned different aspects in accordance to the to the unit and thisis explained in the following paragraphs

QuantitativeResearch Week

Inthis week the quantitative research uses the numerical approach andemphasizes on the use of statistics and data acquired through surveysor questionnaires. The quantitative research method needs data to begathered and later generalized depending on groups to assist inexplaining phenomena like when, how, how often, and where. In thequantitative research, operationalizing is when the measurement of agiven phenomenon is not measurable directly but it’s indicated bydifferent other phenomena. In this class I learned, this processhelps in making the theoretical concept measurable. In our workshopthe determination of public services within the Trafford centerneeded people’s opinion on what they think. Those interviewed hadto answer questions like if they felt that the toilets in theTrafford center were enough to meet the needs of the population. Thepopulation also had to respond to the question if there were enoughdrinking water sources. After analyzing the responses they were usedto conclude if the public services at the Trafford center are enough(Green and Browne, 2009). Fuzzy logic usually deals with estimatesand not an exact position of a given phenomenon. Fuzzy data gives arange like 9-10 and this can help in analyzing the exact result.Fuzzy logic gives partial truth and partial false and it needs tocompare the frequency of something to determine the final answer.Fuzzy data is one easy way of measuring behaviors, beliefs, andattributes.

Inthe workshop, numbers allowed statistical tests a situation referredto as the correlation analysis and the statistical tests helpdetermine whether there is a relationship between two given sets ofdata. It was discovered that most of the shopping centers at theTrafford center have set up cameras to help in keeping off invadersor thieves from the center. However, there was an observation thatmost shopping centers acquire the security systems after they havebeen vandalized or someone close to their center has been vandalized.Statistical tests are also used to help in generalization.Generalization in quantitative research emphasizes the use of acertain population that represents the entire population to giveresults that are genuine. In the study of Trafford center, thepopulation which was interviewed was one that frequents the centeroften. This means that they have enough information on the center andthat they are likely to be from the surrounding areas. This isimportant because it helps the researcher to get the clear picture ofthe place from people who have enough information and whose opinionmay not be biased.

Fromthe week I learned that quantitative research emphasizes the need tohave samples that can easily be changed into populations. Sample andpopulation may seem to be the same but the difference depends on theobservations given to each data set. While population has allelements from a given set of data, a sample has one or moreobservations from a given population. During the workshop many peoplewho were interviewed were frequent visitors of the Trafford center.This sample represented the big population of people who go shoppingat the center. However, it is hard to determine how frequent theyvisit the stores and if the day they were interviewed happens to bethe busiest day at the center (Cargan, 2007). The data from thesample population only represented the observations of a few but itwas a good representation of the people who have known the center fora long time and spare time frequently to go there. In understandingthe importance of the Trafford center, several people who areattached to the center represented a population that considers theplace to be of cultural and historical importance. The samplepopulation is usually the representation of the whole population andattention should be put to ensure it is represents fairly.

WeekSeven

Inweek seven, the lesson taught was about how to formulate researchquestions. However, while conducting quantitative research, there isneed for data sample which means a set of data selected from a givenpopulation by a certain procedure. It makes it difficult to interviewthe whole population because it may need to carry out a census whichmay be hard for research purposes. The sample is a sub set and is amanageable size. Collection of data from samples of a givenpopulation is known as sampling. For example, in the research carriedout at the Trafford center, it was difficult to collect data from thewhole population that operates, visits, works or resides in the area(Babbie,2010).Therefore a small population of people working, shopping or whooperate in the center. This represented the different people who gothere for various purposes. The procedure was to ensure the selectionwas evenly distributed.The sample population refers to the part of the population which youare going to use to get information. The sample population can becomplete if it satisfies a set of given criteria or representative ifit does not depend on properties of the objects. Since samplinginvolves selection of a bigger population to help in determining thecharacter of the whole population, the selection ought to be unbiasedto ensure that the results are true. Each observation from the samplegives a measure of properties or observable character (Bellamy,2011).

Samplingis the most important part in quantitative research because itdetermines the nature of the results whether they will be fair orunfair. If the sampling is biased then the results will even becomeunusable. Random sampling is where all the members in a givenpopulation have equal chances of being in the sample group.Systematic sampling is used in process sampling and can be useful ifcare is taken to ensure fairness in selection. In our workshop,research was done to ensure that the sample population was wellrepresented. We used both sampling methods to help in determining thehistory, services and attitude of the people on Trafford center.

Thesampling strategy depends on what type of study is being conducted,which can be process or population study. The most common one isstudy and there are different strategies used to run a study orprocess research random sampling, rational sub-grouping, systematicsampling and stratified random sampling.The non-probability sampling method makes it hard to determine theerrors or how the sample will be different from the biggerpopulation. This can lead to results that are biased and incorrectconclusions can be drawn. In convenience sampling the researcher usesthe available subjects in the study and this may include stoppingpeople on the streets to interview them. It may also involve askingthe people available to the researcher and may not be able todetermine the true population of the group (Black,2011).

Randomsampling, stratified sampling and systematic fall under theprobability sampling and all members have an equal chance of beingselected as a sample group. The sampling methods that are not randomare known as non-probability like in the convenience sampling wherethe easiest population is picked. Sampling strategies do affectsample composition because they are the system through which thesample group is selected. This in turn affects results. In ourworkshop we studied the group using the no-probability method becausethe area to be covered was a business center and it could be hard toselect people basing on their location.Inpurposive sampling technique, the units involved are based on thejudgment of the researcher. This method gives statistics that arevery biased as the selection itself is biased and any results fromthis sampling strategy cannot be relied on (O`regan, Balnaves andSternberg, 2012). The sampling strategy determines the type ofresults one can get in the research.

WeekTen

Inthis week, I have learned many aspects of ethnography. It has givenme insight of a central typical value for the probabilitydistribution in ethnography. It is also referred to as the center ofthe location. Measures of central tendency are called averages. Thecentral tendency can be calculated for both the set of values andtheoretical distribution like the normal distribution. Centraltendency is sometimes used by authors to mean the tendency ofquantitative data.

Inethnography class I also learned the meaning of different statisticalwords such as the mean, which refers to the sum of all data valuesdivided by the set of data. Median refers to the middle value thatseparates one half from the other. The median and the mode can beused to determine the original values. Mode is the value that appearsfrequently in a set. There is the geometric mean harmonic mean andweighted mean.Themode, mean and median are valid measures for the central tendency(Babbie, 2007). Depending on the research purpose, different measuresof tendency can be applied. During the research different measures oftendencies were used to help in interpreting the data collected.

Usingrandom in social is important because it is used in simpleexperiments that need to be taken from a population that represents awell-represented sample. However the sample picked should beaccessible and always available. This system is effective for largepopulations and not useful for small groups. In situations where thepopulation is low, other systems can be used to get better results.The population at the center is relatively high and thus random waseffective.

Incase a person is researching on the education levels in a givencompany a random number is used to help in picking people for aninterview. The two properties of random include unbiased andindependent. In the workshop random research was used to pick peoplewho helped in the provision of data and later which was analyzed togive a reasonable conclusion. With the excel function in place,random is nowadays easy to do since you only type a number and thenthe random value is generated automatically. The disadvantage withrandom selection is that sometimes it does not work (Newmanand Benz, 2009).To do a true sample for a given population the number will be put forall the names and this may give names of people who are notinterested.The principle of random is that names can be drawn out and based onthe property of mathematics that if the random is big enough, it canrepresent the population fully .The Trafford center is one big placewith many centers within it and this means it was easy to use therandom because of the high population. Different people were sampledand this included the workers as well as the visitors who came to getservices from the center. The fact that the population was high meantthat the random was effective.

Inconclusion, the quantitative research involves many principle thatare important in enabling successful research for a given topic orarea of study. During the workshop various principles were applied tohelp in the research. Depending on the data operationalizing of thesocial concepts can be possible as well as the conversion of thefuzzy data into variables. Quantitative research enables researchersto understand the behavior, attributes and cultures of a givenpopulation. The numbers collected during the workshop were used forthe statistical tests and this was useful in generalization(Balnaved,Donald and Shoesmith, 2009).The center has been there for ages and this means gathering its datawas not a big and transforming it into useful results. The workshopwas also useful in helping us to change some samples to populations.In quantitative research there is sample and sample population and itwas important to understand the difference between the two .Thesubset in a sample also helped understand the impact it may have onthe results. The study also made us understand the relationshipbetween sample and population and how the poor choice of sample willbe a misinterpretation of the population’s views. The measurementtendency also was vital in transforming the data we had collectedfrom the field into facts of what people thought of Trafford center(Balnaves,Donald and Shoesmith, 2009).During the workshop we also realized that the sampling strategiesaffect the results and can be of no use if they are not reliable.

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