An Effective Guide to Comparative Research Questions

Comparative research questions are a type of quantitative research question. It aims to gather information on the differences between two or more research objects based on different variables. 

These kinds of questions assist the researcher in identifying distinctive characteristics that distinguish one research subject from another.

A systematic investigation is built around research questions. Therefore, asking the right quantitative questions is key to gathering relevant and valuable information that will positively impact your work.

This article discusses the types of quantitative research questions with a particular focus on comparative questions.

What Are Quantitative Research Questions?

Quantitative research questions are unbiased queries that offer thorough information regarding a study topic. You can statistically analyze numerical data yielded from quantitative research questions.

This type of research question aids in understanding the research issue by examining trends and patterns. The data collected can be generalized to the overall population and help make informed decisions. 

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Types of Quantitative Research Questions

Quantitative research questions can be divided into three types which are explained below:

Descriptive Research Questions

Researchers use descriptive research questions to collect numerical data about the traits and characteristics of study subjects. These questions mainly look for responses that bring into light the characteristic pattern of the existing research subjects.

However, note that the descriptive questions are not concerned with the causes of the observed traits and features. Instead, they focus on the “what,” i.e., explaining the topic of the research without taking into account its reasons.

Examples of Descriptive research questions:

  • How often do you use our keto diet app?
  • What price range are you ready to accept for this product?

Comparative Research Questions

Comparative research questions seek to identify differences between two or more distinct groups based on one or more dependent variables. These research questions aim to identify features that differ one research subject from another while emphasizing their apparent similarities.

In market research surveys, asking comparative questions can reveal how your product or service compares to its competitors. It can also help you determine your product’s benefits and drawbacks to gain a competitive edge.

The steps in formulating comparative questions are as follows:

  • Choose the right starting phrase
  • Specify the dependent variable
  • Choose the groups that interest you
  • Identify the relevant adjoining text
  • Compose the comparative research question

Relationship-Based Research Questions

A relationship-based research question refers to the nature of the association between research subjects of the same category. These kinds of research question assist you in learning more about the type of relationship between two study variables.

Because they aim to distinctly define the connection between two variables, relationship-based research questions are also known as correlational research questions.

Examples of Comparative Research Questions

  • What is the difference between men’s and women’s daily caloric intake in London?
  • What is the difference in the shopping attitude of millennial adults and those born in 1980?
  • What is the difference in time spent on video games between people of the age group 15-17 and 18-21?
  • What is the difference in political views of Mexicans and Americans in the US?
  • What are the differences between Snapchat usage of American male and female university students?
  • What is the difference in views towards the security of online banking between the youth and the seniors?
  • What is the difference in attitude between Gen-Z and Millennial toward rock music?
  • What are the differences between online and offline classes?
  • What are the differences between on-site and remote work?
  • What is the difference between weekly Facebook photo uploads between American male and female college students?
  • What are the differences between an Android and an Apple phone?


Comparative research questions are a great way to identify the difference between two study subjects of the same group.

Asking the right questions will help you gain effective and insightful data to conduct your research better. This article discusses the various aspects of quantitative research questions and their types to help you make data-driven and informed decisions when needed.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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