chapter  3
14 Pages

Research in psychology

Quantitative versus qualitative methods The adjective quantitative refers to the noun quantity. Something that has quantity has an amount that can be measured. An object has a quantity of weight (e.g., 3 kilograms) and it has a quantity of size (e.g., 1.5 metres in length). In psychology, we usually try to measure behaviour. In doing, so we assume that behaviour can have a quantity (we say that we are trying to quantify behaviour). If this assumption is correct, i.e., that we can quantify behaviour, then we can convert observations of behaviour into numbers. Once we have numbers, we have data, and we can use statistics. In other words, by transforming behaviour into data, psychology can adopt scientific approaches and methods in trying to understand human and animal behaviour. Most research in psychology is done using quantitative methods.