Issues in Quantitative Analysis
All professions have tools. For the psychological scientist, few have had the dominating importance of statistics. Statistical findings are often equated with reality. In this chapter, we discuss why this is true. We also will try to illuminate why practitioners tend to have a love-hate relationship with this tool of the scientific trade. We will show that the scientifically minded professional neither should be dominated by statistical versions of reality nor should ignore them. Standing in the local clinical situation, the professional is surrounded by aggregate realities as well as individual ones. These are more or less local, depending on how one bounds the inquiry. Some are revealed in direct empirical observations, others are hidden from any palpable scrutiny. Scientific research can greatly facilitate our ability to access and draw on these realities in our local formulations. By the same token, this same research can be overemphasized and distorting, creating constructions of uniformity (Kiesler, 1966) that may have no basis in local or even extended realities.
KeywordsNumber System True Score Statistical Thinking Early Morning Awakening True Zero
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