Quantitative research, meet qualitative research

18 11 2007

Qual: Hi there. Nice to meet you.
Quan: (hesitantly) Likewise, I guess. What kinda knowledge are you after anyway?
Qual: The kind that comes from lived experience. The kind that takes interpretation. And you?
Quan: You must mean information. Anyhow, I’m not into softcore; I prefer genuine knowledge. The kind that is read off from numbers.
Qual: I see, meaning.
Quan: No, you dimwit, the mean.
Qual: But surely, doing research is more than just number-crunching, right?
Quan: Of course it is. You have to think really hard about your research design.
Qual: You mean analysis, right?
Quan: No, our proof is in the chi square pudding. Yours is in the spacecake, I presume?
Qual: (visibly annoyed) Well, I may be uncertain, at least I’m socially relevant. I wouldn’t wanna be trivial like you.
Quan: Trivial? Puh-leeze. I’m quantifiable.
Qual: Do you honestly believe you can quantify human experience?
Quan: Whaddaya mean, human experience? I study mental processes. I’m a scientist. Btw, nice sandals you’re rockin’ in mid-winter.
Qual: Does that wig on your head help you to find data?
Quan: It sure beats fabricating conclusions. Oh wait, you call that a rich point, don’t you?
Qual: Why don’t you wipe that smirk off your face before I quantify your nose?

Loosely based on Arthur A. Berger‘s Media & Communication Research Methods (London: Sage, 2000).




One response

28 05 2008
Numbers speak in tongues « Tom Van Hout

[…] to Amy Winehouse: unchartered territory. Like so many of my peers in qualitative research, I have a love-hate relationship with quantitative research, in no small part due to my number-crunching stage fright. I have taken […]

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