Quantifiable Qualitative Inquiry: Experiencing and Measuring

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The discipline of psychology has struggled with its identity as a qualitative mode of inquiry and a quantitative science for more than a century. Early psychologists, such as James, Wundt, Freud, and Jung relied heavily on introspection and self-report as their sources of data. With the rise of Behaviorism and its espousal of logical positivism, psychology emerged as a quantitative enterprise that wore the mantle of numerical objectivity. Modern psychology has suffered from the polarization of these modes of inquiry. Qualitative researchers view quantitative researchers as cold and reductionistic while quantitative researchers view their qualitative colleagues as warm, sincere, and hopelessly unscientific. By using research examples from clinical, personality, developmental, and industrial psychology, the current talk will attempt to bridge the gap by showing how personal meanings of experienced time, space, emotions, and interpersonal relationships can be potentially quantifiable in ways that make sense to both humanists and scientists.


Keywords: Qualitative, Quantitative, Psychometric
Stream: Knowledge
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Quantifiable Qualitative Inquiry


Dr. Bernard Gorman

Professor, Psychology and Gerontology Deaprtments, Nassau Community College/SUNY and Hofstra University
Garden City, NY, USA

Bernard Gorman received his Ph.D. (1971) in Personality and Social Psychology from the City University of New York, and completed postdoctoral psychotherapy training at the Institute for Rational Emotive Therapy. He has written numerous articles and presented many convention papers in the areas of personality assessment, multivariate analysis, cognition, and affect. He co-authored the textbook, Developmental Psychology (Van Nostrand, 1980) with Theron Alexander and Paul Roodin, and co-edited the research monograph, The Personal Experience of Time (Plenum, 1977) with Alden Wessman. He is the author of several instructional computer packages. His most recent volume, Design and Analysis of Single Case Research, with Ronald Franklin and David Allison, focuses on the intensive study of individuals over time. He is a Professor of Psychology and State University of New York Faculty Exchange Scholar at Nassau Community College/SUNY, An adjunct professor in Hofstra University's Graduate Psychology and Gerontology Programs, he teaches courses in gerontology, multivariate statistical analysis, computer applications in psychology, and psychometrics. He is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York and,recently, he has been a member of a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network on DNA Microarray technology.

Ref: H08P0277