What is cross sectional research? research methodology

What is cross sectional research?

In cross sectional research, researchers observe the specific point at the same time.

cross sectional research
Figure: cross sectional research


What are examples of cross sectional research?

  1. Observation of different computer parts to measure the computer speed changing rate(as represented in figure1).

Characteristics of cross-sectional research

Below are some characteristics of cross-sectional research:

  • There is a single point in time in which the study takes place.
  • There are no manipulating variables to interfere and influence.
  • The researcher can observe various characteristics at the same time such as age, gender, income, etc.
  • Cross-sectional research often investigates the prevailing and common characteristics of a particular population.
  • It provides the current situation and conditions of the population.
  • Cross-sectional research can be conducted with the same variables within a set period.

Advantages of cross-sectional research

Following are the advantages that support cross-sectional research:

  1. Multiple variables

Cross-sectional research can study multiple variables such as age, sex, income, socio-economic status, educational status, and so on.

  1. Further study

Although cross-sectional research doesn’t focus on causes of any occurrence, it helps in further study. It gives clues for more experiments and investigations.

  1. Inexpensive and fast

The researchers collect large data from a large population in minimum time while doing this study. They use self-report surveys that are unexpensive sources to collect data.

Disadvantages of cross-sectional research

There are also some disadvantages that can’t be ignored as well:

  1. Cohort differences

In cross-sectional studies, there may be a cohort difference. People born in different eras can have different experiences. In this scenario, it is difficult to analyze data appropriately.

  1. Can’t differentiate cause and effect

Unlike other research, cross-sectional studies don’t allow the cause to interfere with the outcomes. This makes investigations pretty difficult.

  1. Report biases

Data collected through questionnaires and surveys from people doesn’t give accurate results. It could be biased and unverified.

Types of cross-sectional research

There are two types of studies in cross-sectional research:

  • Analytical study

The analytical study tells that how the outcome could occur. reason for the specific outcome.

  • Descriptive study

It only tells the outcome.

Examples of descriptive and analytical study

  • A student faces failure in his monthly assessment. (Descriptive study)
  • How can he improve his learning ability? (Analytical study)

Cross-sectional research examples

We can see many examples of cross-sectional research from various perspectives:

  1. Business

If you bring any change in your offering and come to know the response of the people from the same geographic segment having different socioeconomic status, you can conduct this research.

  1. Retail

You can use cross-sectional research to evaluate the spending trends between men and women of a specific age.

  1. Healthcare

Scientists in healthcare perform this cross-sectional study to investigate the children of specific age suffering from iron deficiency.

  1. Psychology

A cross-sectional study also helps in Psychology to evaluate people according to their socio-economic status, age, gender identity, etc.

  1. Education

Cross-sectional research has a key role in education. Through this study, the researchers can investigate the performance of the students keeping in view their specific age, mental level, learning ability, and curriculum.


You must also know the following topics

cross-sectional and longitudinal research pdf | longitudinal study advantages and disadvantages | longitudinal study child development | longitudinal study vs cross-sectional study | longitudinal cohort study | cross-sectional research | famous longitudinal studies | cross-sectional study psychology

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