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strength and limitations of quantitative and qualitative data

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  • Essay length: 1469 words
  • Submitted: 24/05/2009
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International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge

The first 200 words of this essay...

Lekha Ravichandran

Class #3

2/19/09

Discuss the strength and limitations of quantitative and qualitative data in supporting knowledge claims in the human sciences and at least one other area of knowledge.

Human sciences (such as psychology, economics, anthropology, sociology, etc.) attempt to understand human behavior and seek to learn more about human nature. But our behaviors are often times unpredictable and tricky to interpret due to our language, reason, free will, and creativity. So to what extent can we apply scientific principles to discover more about human actions? How accurate are the conclusions we make based on the data we collect? What factors might affect the consistency of our data? We must ask ourselves and consider these questions when striving to determine the degree to which our quantitative and qualitative data can be deemed reliable. There are many limitations involved when trying to study humans since we are complex, self-conscious beings. There is no absolute certainty that can be achieved when trying to reach conclusions. Deciding upon the laws that we believe to govern our actions has proven to be complex and troublesome. Despite all these issues, and although many people might argue in

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