Tension Between the Theoretical Thinking and the Empirical Method: Is it an Inevitable Fate for Psychology?

Regular Article


This paper will start from focusing on the limitations of quantitative approach in psychology from three viewpoints. First-- data collection, especially experiments and questionnaires as two major methods of quantitative approach. The second limitation is data aggregation, followed by the third-- statistical significance testing. After that, recent spread of qualitative approach as another option for one of psychological methods will be introduced and a controversy surrounding epistemology of qualitative approach will be also introduced. Finally, it will be discussed that accumulation of faithful descriptions on reality, especially from qualitative approach, would be needed for producing creative research.


Quantitative approach Qualitative approach Methodology of psychology 



I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Jaan Valsiner, Clark University, for his helpful comments on an earlier draft.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of YamanashiKofuJapan

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