A Guide To Quantitative Observation (With Examples)

A quantitative observation is an objective method of data analysis that measures research variables using numerical and statistical parameters. This method of observation views research variables in terms of quantity hence; it is usually associated with values that can be counted such as age, weight, volume, and scale.

Qualitative and Quantitative Observations

Benefits of quantitative observation

Here are several benefits of quantitative observation:

What is quantitative observation?

Quantitative observation is a method of gathering and analyzing data. It measures research and draws conclusions using numerical data and statistical calculations. It usually involves variables with a numerical value. When researchers relate particular variables to a number, such as rating their level of satisfaction on a scale from one to ten, this is known as quantitative observation. When studying large groups of people, researchers typically use quantitative data as their findings may be more accurate the larger the group.

Researchers frequently use quantitative information to better comprehend the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of large populations of people. Typically, researchers use online platforms to conduct their research or conduct in-person polls, surveys, and questionnaires.

Characteristics of quantitative observation

Here are several characteristics of quantitative observation:

Examples of quantitative observation

Here are some examples of quantitative observation:

Example 1

An illustration of a quantitative observation for a customer satisfaction survey is given below:

Luke’s Grocery Store wants to know how happy their customers are with their products and customer service. Customers are asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale of one to five in a survey that they conduct. One is a negative number that indicates the customer is dissatisfied with the store, while five is a positive number that indicates the customer is satisfied with the store. In order to accurately gauge their customers’ sentiments, they decide to distribute a survey to 300 customers.

Following the completion of the surveys, the data is entered into a chart that displays the number of respondents for each option. In total, 100 people gave the store a rating of five, 76 gave it a rating of four, 93 gave it a rating of three, 24 gave it a rating of two, and seven gave it a rating of one. They come to the conclusion that the majority of their customers are happy with the stores’ customer service and merchandise.

Example 2

As an illustration of a quantitative observation used to determine the typical height of a high school basketball player, consider the following:

Mark, a researcher who studies adolescent development, wants to gauge the height of high school basketball players. He decides to use a stadiometer, a long ruler that attaches to a wall to measure someone’s height, to measure basketball players who sign up for the observation in order to do this. 100 basketball players agreed to participate in his study and each recorded their height while standing next to the stadiometer.

In a chart, Mark writes down each height; once the observation is complete, he will turn the chart into a graph. After compiling all the measurements, he discovers that a high school basketball player is typically 6 feet, 5 inches tall.

Quantitative observation vs. qualitative observation

When conducting qualitative observation, researchers use their senses, such as sight, touch, and sound, to gather information. In order to increase the validity of their findings, researchers frequently combine quantitative and qualitative observation in their studies. Here are some differences between quantitative observation and qualitative observation:

Research characteristics

When conducting research, qualitative observation and quantitative observation differ in a number of ways. The characteristics of quantitative research include the use of numerical data or data that can be interpreted numerically. The senses of an individual, such as hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing, and touching, are involved in qualitative research characteristics.

Collection methods

When conducting qualitative observation, researchers observe their target group to collect data samples. Depending on their research needs, they may interact with their target group, but typically they only collect data through observation. When conducting a qualitative observation, researchers engage with their target population to administer polls, surveys, and questionnaires or to gauge an individual’s health by taking their height and weight.

Number of participants

Researchers require a sizable number of participants in order to conduct a quantitative observation. This is so that researchers can draw generalized conclusions about entire populations using quantitative observations, which necessitates a large sample size. Because qualitative observation focuses more on an individual than a population, it only needs a smaller group of participants. Instead of examining the behaviors of a population, a researcher might, for instance, carry out qualitative observation on an individual to understand their behaviors.


What is an qualitative observation?

Using their five senses—sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing—researchers gather data through the qualitative observation method. Given that it is dependent on the researcher’s sensory organs, it is a subjective method of information gathering.

What is an example of a qualitative observation?

Qualitative observations include things like temperature (hot or cold), taste (sweet or salty), texture (smooth or rough), and even mood (angry or happy). Every day, from purchasing vegetables at the grocery store to reviewing employees at work, we make use of qualitative observations.

What is difference between qualitative and quantitative observations?

When you use your senses to observe the outcomes, you are making qualitative observations. (Sight, smell, touch, taste and hear. Instruments like rulers, balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, and thermometers are used to make quantitative observations. These results are measurable.

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