Table 1

Some Criticisms of Quantitative Research

1 Quantitative research can amount to a quick fix, involving little or no contact with people or the field.
2 Statistical correlations may be based upon 'variables' that, in the context of naturally-occurring interaction, are arbitrarily defined.
3 After the fact speculation about the meaning of correlations can involve the very commonsense processes of reasoning that science tries to avoid (see Cicourel,1964:14, 21).
4 The pursuit of 'measurable' phenomena can mean that unperceived values creep into research by simply taking on board highly problematic and unreliable concepts such as 'discrimination' or 'empathy.'
5 While it is important to test hypotheses, a purely statistical logic can make the development of hypotheses a trivial matter and fail to help in generating hypotheses from data as attempted in grounded theory.
Garfinkel, E. (1967) Studies in ethnomethodology, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Cicourel, A. (1964) Method and measurement in sociology, New York: Free Press.