Sunday, July 29, 2007

A hypothetical conversation

Sometimes I like to think about funny hypothetical conversations...This conversation emerged out of my 1) dislike of quantitative statistics and 2) the "size queen" in all of us.

Statistics is in many ways centered on the need to have a large sample size. I don't really think a large sample size is important because it inevitably subsumes the individual, the contingent. So with no further background, here is the conversation.

"The problem with qualitative analysis is that it utilizes such a small population. The results, or whatever you call them, do not generalize to other populations."

"So, if qualitative analysis utilized a larger population, it would be more 'legitimate' which means you and all quantitative researchers are size queens. Is that what you are saying...that you are a size queen?"

"Excuse me?"

"You know, a size queen. As in, size matters and the bigger the better? You said that I as a qualitative researcher need to have a larger sample size, meaning you privilege size and not any size but large size, therefore making you a size queen."

"Huh, I am just saying that a larger sample size decreases the variability and allows one to make broader conclusions and/or generalizations. I am not a size queen."

"No, you a size queen. You want a big sample size. Let's draw a parallel. A big cock in sex is much more enjoyable, ergo a size queen Or for the hetero-crowd, big tits make a better motor boat. Size matters and you are a size queen."

Hypothetical Paper Titles utilizing this logic:

Quantitative Analysis: Size Queens and a Queer Analysis

Size Queens: The False Assumptions of Sample Size

1 comment:

Anisa said...

LOL THAT was what you were writing during the movie??

Playing the devil's advocate (or apparently, in this case, a size queen), what would you say if the quantitative researcher says: "Generalizations may not be important in qualitative research. "Normality" as the quantitative researchers put it, is not the objective in qualitative reserach. So what is the objective of qualitative research?"