Home > Uncategorized > Can we use quantitative methods to cast doubt on quantitative methods?

Can we use quantitative methods to cast doubt on quantitative methods?

Or is it sanctioned to kill in order to punish killing. In anycase, it occurred to me in my sociology class today that the over-reliance on statistics for the production of facts and knowledge is difficult to disabuse. But it is clear that because of the pliability of data and its interpretation many quantitative large n studies have been revisited over and again and disputed by a large number of scholars. As a result it may be fruitful to do a simple statistical count of the number of claims that have been disputed in large n statistical work. How many articles have been disproven or disputed. how many used the same data? how many provided alternate data? A good start in IR is the journal article overview by Maliniak et al in the TRIP survey. Google provides articles that have quoted an article and that is one way of looking up how many accounts of dispute exist around a particular original data article. I expect that the number will be significant enough to throw doubt on  the infallibility of data based knowledge claims. That is data is not infallible it is produced by humans. Anecdotal evidence of the use of data and its pliability can be found in the opposing conclusions drawn around the democratic peace thesis, democracy and development theses, and the modernization literature.

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