26 January 2010

Quantitative Research

A. Definition Quantitative research is a scientific work, which measures a case using statistical analysis. This research has its roots from positivists led by Auguste Comte. The school of positivism contends that in order social sciences to advance, they must adopt exact sciences (Harahap, 1992). Data collection in quantitative researches is done by using structured question lists, which are developed based on observed variables. Following this step, the quantitative data are obtained. Unlike their qualitative counterparts, quantitative researches do not focus on case studies, but on survey results. Richard and Cook (in Abdullah Fajar, 1992) explains the difference in paradigm between qualitative and quantitative researches as follows: a. Qualitative researches... - rely on qualitative methods. - rely on phenomenologism and verstehen; their attention directs on understanding of human acts from the actors point-of-view themselves. - use naturalistic observation and are uncontrolled. - are subjective in nature. - keep closely related to the data; base on individuals' inner perspectives. - are discovery-oriented, grounded studies that put weight on expansion, description, and induction. - are process-oriented. - can not be generalized due to its single case study principle. - have holistic characteristics. - assume dynamic realities. b. Quantitative researches... - assume the use of quantitative methods. - rely on logic positivism; looking for facts and causes of social symptoms despite individual conditions. - use observations based on obtrusive and controlled measures. - are objective. - are verification-oriented, ungrounded studies; focus on confirmatory aspect, reduction, inference, and deductive-hypotheses. - can be generalized based on multiple cases. - are particular. - assume stable realities. B. Stages of Quantitative Researches 1. Background of problem According to Wardi Bachtiar (1997), the background of the problem in quantitative researches consists of the followings: - arguments of why the problem is interesting to study from either theoretical or practical aspects. - explanation of negative causes once the problem is unresolved. - explanation of positive effects as a result of the study. - description of current study relevance to previous studies - illustration of study outputs and their importance to society, nation, or knowledge. 2.Problem identification, selection, and formulation - study problems can be identified due to the presence of gaps between what should have been and what is going on in reality as well as information or theoretical gaps. - selection of problem has values of study (original and reliable), fisibility (cost, time, and condition), link and match with researcher's qualifications, and correlation between two or more variables (Nazir, 1988). - formulation of problem deals with question marks, explanation and exposition, and hypothetical backgrounds. 2. Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments Validity and reliability relate to developing questions and statements, which result in conceptual and operational definitions. - conceptual definitions are sources provided by previous experts or authors. researchers can get this definitions from a library study. - in case of no conceptual definitions from the library study, the researchers can discuss the problems with experts who have conceptual competencies. - conception definitions may refer as the concepts to research respondents with the same characteristics (Ancok, 1989). 3. Determination of Research Method - population and sample selection as research subjects - data collection technique selection - data analysis method selection based on the data types 4. Development of research framework Research framework is an anchor by which systematical and logic plans are based. This framework contains title, background of problem, objective, study of literature, hypothesis, operational definition, method of research, research schedule (including the research performers), and research expenditure. 5. Data collection In collecting research data, a researcher must have ability to trace back area mapping, source of information, and data exploration. Hence, he or she needs well-organized training and education. 6. Processing, analysis, and interpretation of research outputs Data processing consists of editing, coding, categorizing, and tabulating. This analysis aims to simplify the data in order to be easily read and interpreted. The quantitative researches perform this processing by way of statistical techniques. Meanwhile, interpretation aims to interpret the analytical results to wider extent where conclusion is based on. 7. Development of research report To enable the report development, an out line report framework is necessarily needed. References: Abdullah Fajar, Metodologi Penelitian Kualitatif dalam Jurnal Penelitian Agama Nomor: 1 Juni – Agustus 1992. Balai Penelitian P3M IAIN Sunan Kalijaga Djamaluddin Ancok, Teknik Penyusunan Skala Pengukuran; PPK UGM, Yogyakarta, 1989. Nasruddin Harahap, Penelitian Sosial : Latar Belakang, Proses : Persiapan Pelaksanaannya, dalam Jurnal Penelitian Agama Nomor: 1 Juni – Agustus 1992. Balai Penelitian P3M IAIN Sunan Kalijaga Wardi Bachtiar, Metodologi Penelitian Ilmu Dakwah, Logos: Jakarta, 1997.
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