Statistics Corner: Characteristics of sound quantitative research

Article appearing in Shiken 19.2 (November 2015) pp. 24-28.

Author: James Dean Brown
University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Question:
In Brown, 2005, you explained the characteristics of well-done qualitative research by explaining the importance of dependability, credibility, confirmability, and transferability. You mentioned in passing that the parallel characteristics for quantitative research were reliability, validity, replicability, and generalizability. But you never really explained those quantitative research characteristics. I think it would be useful to know more about those characteristics of sound quantitative research and maybe even something about the characteristics of good quality mixed-methods research. Could you talk about these other research paradigms?
Answer (introductory paragraph):
Certainly, let me begin by reviewing my definition of what I think research is. Then I will turn to the issues that quantitative researchers need to address in order to produce sound quantitative research by explaining four concepts: reliability, validity, replicability, and generalizability. As I proceed through these explanations, you will see how similar and yet different the qualitative and quantitative sets of characteristics are. I will focus on the characteristics of quantitative research here and save the characteristics of mixed-methods research for a subsequent column (Brown, forthcoming in 2016).

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