Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The difference between quantitative and qualitative research

Forever there seems to be a debate about the two and I am gob smacked by having a discussion with a positivist who seemed to think there is but one scientific method. So here's a provocation on how different the realities might be.

Here's one consideration of global warming demonstrated through the use of people's lived experiences as data as well as a visual ethnographic provocation to thoughtfulness.

It's an idiosyncratic representation.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/philsberry/2484326291/

In contrast here's how it is represented by the more positivist quantitative researchers:
This article points to the multiple research centres and claims "all" show that the Global surface temperature increased by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005. Most conspicuously, according to the latest IPCC report the global surface temperature will likely to rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the twenty-first century.

Whose data is then backed up by multiple references to all the scientists of numerous countries, where repeated data provides validation. See http://www.theglobalwarmingstatistics.org/the-global-warming-statistics

This cheeky little posting is not to be taken too seriously.
Global warming might be.

2 comments:

  1. This does bring up a point. For some people, the first representation has much more impact (makes more sense) than the second. Imagine what the audiences would be for each. Can you imagine giving a presentation to the World Bank using the first graphic?

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