Quantitative research methods
Quantitative methods intended for inquiries of large number of people in order to find out distribution of some phenomena or processes in totality of inhabitants/target group.
Quantitative methods are used that to:
Face-to-face interviews (at respondents’ residence or work places):
Indirect interviews (telephone interviews or interviews via the Internet):
CAPI – Computer Assisted Personal Interviews
Computer assisted personal interviews (CAPI) occur at respondents’ residences or in case of B2B surveys – at enterprises; usually this method is used in order to inquire a concrete target group, for instance, users of some service/product or company managers, specialists.
The main advantage of this method is that an interview is immediately being entered in a computer and after that comes automatically to data base; the plus of computer assisted interviews certainly is facilities provided by special software, for instance, following several parameters to select quickly participants, who have to be asked specific, deep questions, as well as a possibility to demonstrate different visual and audio aids (TV and radio commercial clips, product visual concepts, environmental advertisements, etc.), and to use more complicated methodological means (scales, variable conditions, etc.).
PAPI – Paper and Pencil Interviews
Paper and pencil interviews (PAPI) usually occur at inhabitants’ residences, enterprises, as well as at shopping centres, some other institutions or outside premises; paper assisted interviews mainly are used in case if representatives of some smaller target groups must be inquired, who can be met at definite places – they can be visitors of some institution, shop customers, club attenders, etc.
Quick method that do not ask for usage of special technologies; there’s a possibility to record quickly respondents’ statements and comments that perhaps do not incorporate into the structure of questionnaire but may be useful for the survey on the whole.
Method limitations - very minimal, namely, respondents’ answers from paper questionnaires must be rewritten into the computer.
CATI – Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews
This method mainly is used when one needs to poll quickly a large number of people or enterprises on the understanding that the greater part of target group is provided with telephones.
The target group is easy to reach and there’s no time wasting that in other cases interviewers spend en route (especially when interviews occur in the country); it’s possible to inquire not only users of fixed phones but also cellular ones. On the costs score – it is economic method.
This method is advisable for short interviews (up to 15 minutes) because due to the lack of direct contact, respondents quicker lose their power of concentration and interest to answer as there are no visual aids available; also questions in such type of interviews must be simpler than in face-to-face interviews (questions can’t be shown to respondents for reading).
CAWI – Computer Assisted Web Interviews
One of the technologically most modern research methods intended for survey of Internet users target group (not only about habits of Internet usage); the Internet users for the survey are selected either from various data bases (of other surveys, data bases sent in by a client, etc.) or are recruited for participating in a survey via advertising banners or other interactive means.
This is the most economic method on the time and costs score; since the target group – Internet users – is economically the most active (and usually also youngest and wealthiest) part of inhabitants, it is a very good way how to get at this target group ensuring a quick information output as interviews are automatically being entered into data bases.
The above-mentioned plus is also a minus – today the number of Internet users in Latvia is not overly great and therefore in some researches on specific subject it may take a certain time period while a statistically significant number of respondents will be inquired; besides such method doesn’t guarantee representative of research participants for all inhabitants, because on the one hand it is a smaller target group but on the other hand participants take part in a research by a certain self-selection principle that, of course, afterwards can be diminished with a help of special quotas.
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