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Chapter 4: Association and Causation in Quantitative Research
The end point of all quantitative research is at the least to establish that there is an association between factors A and B. At best, it is to quantify the likelihood that a factor A caused an outcome B: for example, some intervention X caused an increase in output by Y.
There has been much debate around causation in quantitative research, coming from those who are critical of quantitative research methods as a whole. The key criticism centres around the fact that objective and random measurement is impossible under any condition. This is true in the strictest sense, and we must always be aware that, however well a study is conducted, it is still an approximation ...