What is it about?

Different sciences produce different data. Social scientists and psychologists produce data about persons and must therefore use other methods than, for example, biologists and physicists. But in all sciences, persons are involved in producing the data, such as researchers using technical instruments, behavioural observers or survey participants. The paper shows how methods can be classified by the ways in which human abilities are involved to produce data.

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Why is it important?

Accurate data are important in all fields. The paper defines rules for determining which methods are suited to produce data about particular objects of research. These rules are defined by the ways in which we as humans can perceive the study objects. This highlights that methods used in psychology and the social sciences are not always adequate to produce data about people’s feelings, thoughts and behaviours.


It is fascinating to look at the human abilities that persons bring to produce scientific data. This also helps better understand commonalities and differences in the ways science is done in different fields.

Dr Jana Uher
University of Greenwich

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Data generation methods across the empirical sciences: differences in the study phenomena’s accessibility and the processes of data encoding, Quality & Quantity, March 2018, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/s11135-018-0744-3.
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