What are typical quantitative research questions?

Quantitative research questions are generally used to set the scene for an entire study or industry report. For quantitative business research it is imperative that the research questions used allow your respondents to answer succinctly. With that in mind there are three common types of quantitative research questions:

  1. Descriptive research questions
  2. Comparative research questions
  3. Relationship-based research questions

Let’s take a look in greater detail at the typical formats you can use when preparing quantitative market research questions.

Descriptive research questions

Descriptive survey questions are designed to uncover a respondent’s response towards a particular question or variable. Put simply, it’s the easiest way to quantify the particular variable(s) you’re interested in on a large scale. Common descriptive research questions will begin with “How much?”, “How regularly?”, “What percentage?”, “What time?”, “What is?”

Primarily, a descriptive research question will be used to quantify a single variable, but there’s nothing stopping you covering multiple variables within a single question.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

Question

Variable

Demographic

How often do you buy mobile apps for fitness purposes?

Number of mobile apps bought

Smartphone users
Fitness enthusiasts

How much would you be willing to pay for a men’s lifestyle magazine?

The cost respondents would be willing to pay for a men’s lifestyle magazine

Men aged 18-40

How regularly do you go abroad for a holiday?

Number of times respondents go on holiday abroad

Families & adults aged 18-and-over

Comparative research questions

Comparative survey questions are designed to help you identify clear differences between two or more groups based on one or more variables. For instance, a typical comparative research question will begin by asking respondents for the “difference between” a particular variable e.g. mobile apps bought between two or more groups e.g. teenage boys and teenage girls.

On the whole, a comparative research question will only be used to quantify a single variable, but depending on the needs of your market research it’s plausible to use two or more if necessary.

Here are a few examples for you to consider:

Question

Variable

Demographic

What is the difference in the daily calorie intake between men and women in London?

Daily calorific intake

Men based in London
Women based in London

What are the differences in attitudes towards online banking between Millennial adults and older people?

Attitudes towards online banking

Millennial adults
Adults born prior to 1982

What is the difference in the number of landline telephone calls made between Millennial adults and older people?

Number of landline telephone calls made

Millennial adults
Adults born prior to 1982

Relationship-based research questions

A relationship-based research question can be misleading to some as it doesn’t mean you’ve got to ask respondents about their love life!

Here, the term relationship is used more to describe an association or trend between two or more variables within one or more demographic groups.

Examples of relationship-based research questions include:

Question

Dependent variable

Independent variable

Demographic

What is the relationship between gender and A Level exam results amongst 6th Form students?

Gender

A Level exam results

6th Form students

What is the relationship between disposable income and location amongst young adults?

Disposable income

Location

Young adults

What is the relationship between job satisfaction and salary amongst London residents?

Job satisfaction

Salary

London residents


Last modified: Sunday, 28 January 2018, 1:58 PM