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Which would a quantitative sociologist use to gather data

Which would a quantitative sociologist use to gather data

  1. A large survey
    b. A literature search
    c. An in-depth interview
    d. A review of television programs

Answer: a. A large survey

Answer Explanation

The correct answer is (a), a large survey. A quantitative sociologist uses empirical research methods that involve the collection and analysis of numerical data to study social phenomena. The primary way quantitative sociologists gather data from a large number of respondents is through surveys.

A representative sample of the population under study is usually asked to complete structured and standardized questionnaires. To identify patterns, correlations, and trends within the data collected through surveys, statistical methods are used.

Why the other options are not correct

b. A literature search

A literature search involves reviewing existing academic and non-academic sources to gather information and insights on a specific topic. While literature searches are valuable for understanding existing theories, concepts, and findings in sociology, they do not provide quantitative data.

As a matter of fact, literature searches are more commonly associated with qualitative research methods, in which researchers analyze and interpret textual data to gain a deeper understanding of social phenomena.

c. An in-depth interview

The purpose of in-depth interviews is to gather rich and contextual data by engaging individuals in detailed and open-ended conversations. In contrast, quantitative sociologists collect numerical data from a large sample in order to generalize their findings.

However, in-depth interviews do not align with the quantitative approach, which prioritizes large-scale data collection and statistical analysis.

d. A review of television programs

A sociological study may find it useful to review television programs, but it does not fall within the realm of quantitative research. Qualitative sociologists would benefit from this activity if they wish to understand how certain social issues or identities are represented in the media. In contrast, quantitative sociologists examine patterns and trends in the broader social context using statistical data.


In order to gather data, quantitative sociologists use large surveys. The objective of quantitative sociology is to draw generalizable conclusions about social phenomena by using standardized questionnaires and collecting numerical data from a representative sample of the population. Researchers can analyze data using statistical methods in this way, finding patterns and correlations that can help them gain a broader understanding of social issues.

Despite the value of literature searches, in-depth interviews, and television program reviews, these approaches do not align with the quantitative sociological approach, in which numerical data are collected and analyzed to study social phenomena at a large scale. By using rigorous quantitative methods, sociologists can contribute to evidence-based policymaking, empirical understanding of social trends, and the advancement of sociological knowledge.

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