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

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Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. Quality and Quantity: International Journal of Methodology was launched in 1967 in Europe and that is really noteworthy, but it is excluded here because it is not specified in qualitative research and it is not seemed to be related to the recent trend.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Yasuhiro Omi.

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Omi, Y. Tension Between the Theoretical Thinking and the Empirical Method: Is it an Inevitable Fate for Psychology?. Integr. psych. behav. 46, 118–127 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-011-9185-4

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