Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
Edited by Larry Dwyer, Alison Gill and Neelu Seetaram
Chapter 2: Regression Analysis
Jaume Rosselló INTRODUCTION Qualitative and quantitative research methods have often both been classed as useful and legitimate by social researchers. However, during recent decades, quantitative methods have come to prevail in the social sciences, and tourism research is not an exception. The main role of quantitative research has typically been reduced to helping generate and pose hypotheses that can then be tested using mathematical research methods. Nowadays, many tourism journals reflect this bias in favor of quantitative methods, and it can be seen that the purpose of qualitative research is usually to provide information for developing further quantitative research (Lewis et al., 1995). Within the social sciences and some natural sciences, statistics are the most widely used branch of mathematics in quantitative research when hypotheses have to be tested. Statistical methods are extensively used in fields such as economics, social sciences, and biology. Quantitative research using statistical methods starts with the collection of data, based on a certain hypothesis or theory. For instance, quantitative opinion surveys are widely used in tourism, where statistics are commonly reported, such as the proportion of respondents agreeing with a certain stance. In these opinion surveys, the respondents are asked a set of structured questions and their responses are then tabulated. On other occasions, researchers compile and compare different statistics in order to identify some kind of correlation. In this case, when a causal relationship between a “dependent variable” and one or more “independent variables” is hypothesized (and must be tested), regression analysis comes to...
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