Qualitative assessment in psychology
There are three opinions about the correlation of qualitative and quantitative assessments in the social sciences. First, the adherents of the quantitative approach define it as the main method of researching psychological integrity or its indicators, forgetting that all quantitative methods are based on qualitative ones, i.e. theoretical paradigms. Secondly, critics of quantitative research methods clearly preach skepticism in experimental science. Thirdly, there is an attempt to try and combine these paradigms within the framework of the concept of triangulation.
In the history of epistemology, there were periods of throwing from the yank empiricism to transcendentalism and the lasting oblivion of the experimental possibilities of scientific cognition. Among the representatives of the first direction one can name D. Hurwitz, who preached the so-called "methodological empiricism", i.e. refusal of any philosophical or scientific position in favor of a constant appeal to social reality, in which nothing remains unchanged. J.-P. Sartre called the concept of Hurwitz "hyperempiricalism" and stressed that his objects (social facts) are given in the experience as dialectical and his dialectic is itself an empirical conclusion.
The views of J.-P. Sartre most fully reflect "antiempirizm." His whole person is "qualitative". This "quality", or the existence necessarily manifests itself in human actions and relationships. The properties of the subject Sartre considered as a result of the quantitative materialist view of the researcher. "Materialism," he wrote, "leads to the consideration of people, [...] as objects, that is, as a set of specific reactions that are no different from the totality of those qualities and phenomena that form a table, chair or stone."
A. V. Brushlinsky categories "quality and quantity in psychology, he devoted several of his publications, in which, while declaring the unity of qualitative and quantitative views, he nevertheless defined a quantitative method of cognition as a subordinate role. The quantity, he wrote, is not isolated from quality, but, on the contrary, is inextricably linked with it, expressing not any but strictly defined qualitative properties of the object: homogeneity, identity, etc. & quot ;. And further: "every subsequent stage of the process of thinking [...] is significantly different from the previous one. Therefore, there simply is not and can not be [...] homogeneous, unchanging elements, i.e. there are no fixed units of account. ... There is no purely quantitative accumulation of changes. The transition from one qualitative state to another is carried out on a more complex basis ...
This difficulty, associated with the problems of developing mathematical methods, was stressed by many scientists. For example, BF Lomov noted that it is hardly possible to object to the need to develop a special mathematical apparatus for psychology. However, the development of such an apparatus is still unclear. " L. von Bertalanffy pointed to the inadequacy of "available mathematical methods for the analysis of systemic problems", to which psychology can be fully attributed. This same idea was expressed by L. V. Kantorovich, G. A. Smirnov, and others.
Of course, the "discrete reductionism," expressed in the absolute priority of empirical knowledge, is untenable. But the attempts to reduce the experiment to "external exoticism" are unlikely to be true. psychological reasoning for the purpose of "decoration" article, book, thesis or thesis.
In the following paragraphs of this textbook, we will conduct a detailed analysis of qualitative research. Here, we only consider the typology of qualitative evaluation .
Generalized qualitative assessment is based on the process of preparing knowledge of participants in events (or expert experience). Participant's experience is a primitive knowledge, which, as a result of the influence of subsequent knowledge, can be noticeably deformed over time. Therefore, the first type of the qualitative assessment is the operational evaluation of the registered experience of participants in the form of participant entries, up-to-date interviews, etc. The participants' experience can be presented in at least two different forms. It can be: 1) the experience of a one-time sampling of people in the period of solving a particular laboratory or real situation; and 2) the experience of a holistic social action during the preparation of a decision in the post-situational period. Here, various psychological techniques are used, such as; included and not included observation, labor method (participation in the activity under study), general interview, opinion poll, interview for specific experience, questioning, voting for an alternative, etc.
The second type of the qualitative assessment is the evaluation of the process. The experiment measures the input and output parameters of the system under study. The process itself is a black box & quot ;. Using a control group helps to suggest what is happening inside it. Moreover, this assumption is of a probabilistic nature. The qualitative evaluation of the process occurring inside the black box, involves the study of specific events occurring in the course of the activity, including the typical experience of the participants. Carrying out an experiment in this situation becomes meaningless. The methods of evaluating the process include, first, the evaluation of the event by the person himself and, secondly, the assessment of events by the expert with the help of the included observation or labor method.
The results of qualitative assessment are made in the form of a literary-historical and individual description of some experience (text).
Negative aspects of process evaluation are: uncertainty of conclusions, lack of possibility to register similar data and incompatibility of observation results by different participants of events.
The third type is formative evaluation, ie, in essence - the evaluation of the phenomenon being investigated relative to the standard and criticism of the ineffective elements of the latter. Formative estimation with great stretch can be called a type of qualitative assessment, although it can be assumed that it is its essential complement and as a whole does not contradict it.
The fourth type of qualitative assessment is the system analysis - the skilled use of empirical results in program evaluation, in terms of the organizational functioning of psychological programs and their connections with other social systems.
As stated above, qualitative assessment is a holistic phenomenon. Therefore, experts in various fields of humanitarian knowledge can be involved in the qualitative assessment of social phenomena: ethnographers, anthropologists, historians, political scientists, sociologists, and others.
Supporters of the quantitative approach in psychology familiarity with the methods of qualitative assessment and information sources will help to avoid mistakes in experimental work. The best option is when the psychologist is able to combine qualitative and quantitative assessments in his research, since social cognition is a hypothetical research process. Within each scientific paradigm, there is always a place for a relatively well-founded criticism of a different approach, instead of neutralizing the errors of one's own views. J. Campbell urged researchers to apply quantitative and qualitative methods as necessary and complementary means of cross-validating the study. Orientation only to a quantitative approach significantly reduces the reliability of the results obtained, the essence of scientific search is lost. Therefore, true science is distinguished by a thorough "restoration of the qualitative basis of quantitative knowledge".
L. S. Vygotsky pointed out that the enthusiasm of researchers quantitative knowledge leads to empiricism, emasculates the content of the object of knowledge. The scope of the concept [with this approach - AND. N. ] grows and tends to infinity, according to a known logical law its content is as rapidly falling to zero & quot ;. It is the theory that sets the limits of psychological facts, defining the boundaries of empirical and theoretical knowledge. Therefore, interpretation of the results is an important and responsible matter. The research is not only experienced by the respondents, but also by the experimenter. The competence of the researcher is determined not only by his practical training as a psychologist, but also by his theoretical, methodological level, understanding of the expediency of his activity, and his moral position in interpreting the results of the experiment. Criticizing the methodological inconsistency of the views of researchers who stand in the positions of extreme quantitative evaluation, Vygotsky wrote: "In all these attempts, the tail is taken from one system and is attached to the head of another, in the interval the trunk is moved from the third. But that they were not true, these monstrous combinations, they are true to the last decimal place, but the question they want to answer is false ... ".
A strong assimilation of the psychological theoretical system as a qualitative knowledge in relation to quantitative empirical information must correct the experimenter in his research searches.
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