New Research Methods May Lead to Integrative Treatments In Texas
Quantitative research methods are characterized by collecting limited information about a large number of cases. The most common method for doing this in leisure and tourism research is using a questionnaire survey or interview schedule based on asking a series of already created questions. These questions can either be asked by the interviewer in an interviewer completion survey or by the subject in a respondent completion survey. The questions can be either pre-coded, so the interviewer or respondent chooses among a range of responses, or they can be open-ended, so the respondent can give an answer in his or her own words, and then the answer can be coded or analyzed later.
Commonly, a survey only involves asking research topic questions of a percentage or sample of the larger population, using various sampling techniques to get a representative sample, such as using a random sample or quota sample. Once the surveys are completed, the data from each question on the survey is combined to provide numerical data for that question which can then be analyzed through various quantitative methods, such as comparing the percentages of responses to different questions based on the characteristics of the respondents, obtaining an average or median for rating or ranking data, or doing a correlation or regression analysis.
The methods used in quantitative research include: a household survey, in which people are interviewed in their home and are selected to be included in the survey based on their location; a street survey, where people are stopped on the street or in a shopping mall and asked to answer questions; and a telephone survey, where the interviewer calls the prospective survey participant. Other methods include conducting a mail survey, in which the interviewer receives a questionnaire in the mail and is asked to return it; an e-survey, in which a person is invited to participate in a survey on a Website or sent by email; a user survey (sometimes called a site or visitor survey) in which a user of a recreation facility or a tourist is asked to answer questions about the location just visited; and a captive group survey, in which the members of a group, employees of an organization, or students in a school are asked to participate in a survey and generally are required to do so, by virtue of their membership in the group.
A questionnaire survey has numerous merits for certain types of studies, such as when one wants to collect information from a large number of people. This approach is often appropriate for leisure and tourism studies for large organizations making policy and management decisions about how to deal with large populations using certain leisure facilities or traveling to a destination. Another virtue of this research is that it shows clearly how the information was collected and analyzed, so the results can be reanalyzed or the same procedures can be used to replicate the study with another set of subjects, providing a basis for making comparisons or looking at trends. This approach is also good for taking a large amount of data and presenting it in a simple, compact form, so others can readily understand it, including government officials making policy decisions and managers making choices about management policies and procedures. For example, hundreds or thousands of ratings or rankings can be combined into a single average or median for different groups of people making those ratings or rankings. Then the responses of these different groups can be compared, such as to indicate that people from different age groups rate different activities differently.