Quantitative Data Gathering


What does it mean to gather quantitative data appropriately? Quantitative data is putting concepts or variables into measurement form using numbers. Thus, researchers have come up with many ways to measure concepts related to human behavior and psychology, such as mental disorders, satisfaction with services, effectiveness indicators, and more. For example, you may be familiar with the process of converting your grades into a grade point average (GPA). Your grades are converted into numbers, where an “A” is equal to four points, a “B” is equal to 3 points, etc. The total number of points for all of your grades is divided by the number of credits you have taken and attempted to calculate your GPA.
When gathering quantitative data, the measurement or instrument tool you use ideally needs to have been tested several times with a wide sample of individuals to determine its validity and reliability within acceptable parameters. Otherwise, the data obtained from the measurements or instruments will not have much meaning. It is especially important that quantitative data also be collected in appropriate situations and settings and that the instruments are appropriate for the individuals involved in the study (for example, using the right reading levels and language). For many researchers, quantitative data and methods are believed to reduce bias and other errors through their use of valid, reliable instruments, the scientific method, and appropriate statistical procedures to analyze the gathered data.
Background Information
In this discussion, you will explore the constructs of validity and reliability in quantitative data and research.
• In the context of research, how is “credible” defined?
• How do you achieve credible validity and reliability so that your research is considered meaningful by your community (instructor, peers, colleagues, as well as others)?
• What are the important processes and steps involved in gathering quantitative data?
Levels of measurement are also important, and you will gain an understanding of their importance and how to decide which level of measurement you will employ in your quantitative study, if you are running one. Finally, you will reflect on how likely you are to employ secondary analysis or clinical data mining for your own research project.
Both quantitative and qualitative research have pros and cons. Understanding them will enable you to make the best decisions about which to use in your research, as well as why you would make certain decisions.

  1. In your textbook Practice-Based Research in Social Work: A Guide for Reluctant Researchers, read Chapter 8, “Quantitative Data Gathering.”
  2. Read the article “Creating Experimental Analogs with Available Clinical Information: Credible Alternatives to Gold Standard Experiments?”
  3. Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following:
    a. What is quantitative data gathering, and what does it consist of?
    b. How are reliability and validity achieved in quantitative methods? How is bias avoided?
    c. Why is it important to identify levels of measurement, and which levels are best in quantitative research? How do you know or determine the levels of measurement?
    d. What is the likelihood that you will use secondary analysis or clinical data mining (or even mixed methods) for your research project? Discuss pros and cons of each, as well as ethical issues or concerns.
  4. Your posts should also:
    a. Give clear answers with the demonstration of evidence of critical and analytical thinking.
    b. Add greater depth to the discussion by introducing ideas and concepts as they relate to the themes identified in the workshop.
    c. use references from article and chapter

Sample Solution