ROUTE #1: Getting Started
ROUTE #1: Chapter-by-Chapter


Learn how your goals determine the type of research questions/hypotheses you will set

Research designs determine how researchers set up their quantitative studies in order to answer the research questions/hypotheses that have been set. When we talk about quantitative research designs, we are typically referring to research following either a descriptive, experimental, quasi-experimental or relationship-based research design, which we discuss in more detail in the section on Research Designs in the Fundamentals part of Lærd Dissertation. However, there are also specific goals that you may want to achieve within these research designs. You may want to: (Goal A) explore whether there is a relationship between different variables; (Goal B) predict a score or a membership of a group; or (Goal C) find out the differences between groups you are interested in or treatment conditions that you want to investigate:

Goals A and B reflect the use of relationship-based research questions/hypotheses, whilst goal C reflects the use of comparative research questions/hypotheses. Just remember that in addition to relating and comparing (i.e., relationship-based and comparative research questions/hypotheses), quantitative research can also be used to describe (i.e., descriptive research questions) the phenomena we are interested in. These three basic approaches (i.e., describing, relating and comparing) can be seen in the following example:

Let's imagine we are interested in examining Facebook usage amongst university students in the United States.

These three approaches to examining the variables you are interested in (i.e., describing, comparing and relating) are addressed by setting descriptive research questions, and/or comparative or relationship-based research questions/hypotheses. Understanding the difference between these types of research question/hypotheses is important because the way that you structure your research questions/hypotheses; that is, the way that you write out your research questions/hypotheses will vary depending on the type of research question/hypothesis you are trying to answer.

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