Essay: Quantitative methods used in a Research

Sample Essay

Firestone (1987) states that the positivist philosophy “assumes that there are social facts with an objective reality apart from the beliefs of individuals.” His view on the quantitative method thus shows that it’s an attempt to explain the changes in the social network by using measures that are objective in nature and by thorough statistical analysis. Therefore, the bulk of the emphasis that is laid down is on the basically the procedure that is used and employed, the methodology that is implemented and the statistics that all of these together yield.Another attempt has been made as far as reducing the amount of error and bias that this research method is usually held accountable for. This is done through experimental designs and co relational studies that help maintain objectivity. On the other hand, David Harvey (2002) holds the view that quantitative data is not replicable, and that its dependency is highly variable on the given situation and the background of the collection, which means its liability extends over the nature and the culture of the collector as well. Which means it does have the tendency to be partial as well. As stated in his own words “many apparently quantitative data do depend critically on the way in which they were collected, who collected them, where they were collected, when they were collected and from whom they were collected.” The only circumstance that he believes may result in the collection and the results of the particular quantitative data to be purely objective and impartial are when:

“The nature of the bias can still be tested – if it can be established beyond reasonable doubt (typically by statistical tests) that either the biases tend to offset each other, so that collection and definition errors tend to cancel out, or that the bias is reliably (replicably) based on, dependent on, particular characteristics (quantitative measures) of the differences in the means and methods of collection.” (Prof. David R. Harvey 2002)

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