There are different types of paradigms, each of them establishes a series of regulations or basic aspects that are used to address a topic. A paradigm is generally associated with a type of referential model that helps to treat an issue more assertively. This is how different typologies of paradigms have been typified, which help to investigate, analyze and find new information through the theories and practices that they propose.

Some of the paradigms have a greater connection with perspectives of a social nature. They serve during the research process, since it is possible to analyze said topic using research techniques that are adapted in a better way. This is the case of the quantitative paradigm which focuses on acquiring knowledge using feasible resources to understand reality .

It raises a distributive perspective of research that has a social functionality. Among the objectives it pursues is to discover and describe exactly what are the aspects or elements that influence social reality. It uses resources such as statistics and data analysis techniques , thus building a reliable source of information. Its importance lies in the construction of a grade reference for precise knowledge and without distortions.

What is the quantitative paradigm?

It is the notion of reality based on the scientific method . It is the understanding of reality through the magnifying glass of the quantifiable that seeks to ensure the objectivity and rigor required by factual sciences.

Its foundations are found in the positivist philosophical trend . And his scientific argumentation is causal in nature, that is, things are governed by universal laws.

As a hypothetical deductive system, the quantitative paradigm pursues systematic knowledge, subject to verification and comparison, quantifiable and repeatable. In the social field, for example, he goes in search of the cause of the phenomena and events of society.

The factual or exact sciences use the hypothetico-deductive method in order to produce general laws, finding the causes of problems. It should be noted that the behaviorist paradigm is quantitative, since it is interested only in observable and verifiable behavior.

Characteristics of the quantitative paradigm

The quantitative paradigm is a model that explains, controls and predicts phenomena , focusing its interest on similarities rather than differences. His working instrument is the unit of the scientific method, with which the real causes of natural and social phenomena are sought.

The paradigm is applied to a given reality that is usually fragmented to analyze it e. That reality must be measurable, objective, everything that is not measurable is out of scientific interest. The researcher is an agent whose particular values ​​are irrelevant for scientific investigation. The hypothetical deductive model serves as the basis and provides the mechanisms to observe quantifiable and statistical reality, under experimental control.

Social phenomena are classified into variables that can be subjected to statistical comparisons. Applied to the study of society, the quantitative model randomly selects a representative sample and, from this, extrapolates the results to other populations.

The system uses experimental control, ordered observation of behavior, correspondence of variables. That is, the paradigm focuses its objectives on the scientific verification of the information , the validity and efficacy of the results.

In sum, the quantitative paradigm has the following characteristics:

  • Because of its ontological dimension. The quantitative paradigm is based on the belief that there is an objective reality, external, apprehensible and governed by codes and imperturbable natural systems.
  • Because of its epistemological dimension. There is a separation between the researcher and the object of investigation. The scientist studies the object without exercising control over it. Knowledge has no prejudices and is produced far from the social environment in which it arises.
  • Because of its methodological dimension. The paradigm operates under experimentation, manipulation of variables, hypothesis verification and quantitative techniques.

Three stages are distinguished in the method, namely:

  • Structuring of the object of study. It precedes the process of delimiting the investigation, a search phase of all the necessary and current documentary material to determine the subject of analysis. Then the problem statement is undertaken, objectives are elaborated, the due justification and, of course, the corresponding conceptual framework and its hypothesis.
  • Research identification. ¿ What kind of research do? Here the elements of the research are established, the sample to be analyzed, the instruments for collecting the information. It is the phase of the development and implementation of the research tools.
  • Presentation of the conclusions. After checking the arguments, and analyzing the variables, the conclusions are reached. General laws are detected.

This is how the hypothetico-deductive or quantitative scientific method works:

  • The hypothesis must lead to verifiable results in reality. However, it does not mean your certitude, but your admission.
  • Do not confuse factual judgment with value judgment.
  • The scientist draws a space-time sample and studies the problem.
  • In the educational field, the method separates the purpose of the media, giving the latter greater importance. The pedagogy is displaced by the Sciences of the Education.
  • The questions are understood as technical issues, so they are subject to an objective resolution, according to the data provided by the observations and measurements. Never mind the rhetorical speculation in this method.

Among the most widely implemented techniques and instruments of the quantitative system are the following:

  • Questionnaires and scales to measure the attitudes of individuals.
  • The use of the registration form to keep a rigorous control of behaviors or external situations. This is done through categories and subcategories.
  • Check List .
  • Standardized tests and inventories. These instruments quantify problems, such as the degree of stress, personality classes or job prosperity, among other issues.

In conclusion. How is it related to psychology and other sciences? 

In the field of social sciences, the interest of the quantitative paradigm is to find the facts or causes of social phenomena , stripped of the subjective states of the subjects. Indeed, in the field of Social Sciences, the application of the quantitative paradigm pursues the systematization of its phenomena.

Consequently, his analysis subjects focus on observable , quantifiable, verifiable problems , such as height, weight, gender or the number of students who do not pass a test, the number of failed per course, among other matters.

Social reality is studied through Statistics. The object of study is coupled with the method, which leads to a methodological reductionism. The analyzes are carried out according to a wide selection in order to systematize the results.

Knowledge based on the tangible pragmatically goes behind the causes of society’s problems, leading to general conclusions. Validity is obtained through experimental analysis, systematic scrutiny of behavior, and matching of variables.

From the above, a generalization of the processes is carried out , leaving unverifiable situations aside, with the ultimate aim of explaining the phenomena and specific situations.

For the quantitative paradigm, social reality is put in the following terms:

  • Both social and natural reality are the same for all observers.
  • Social processes are analyzed by components: the whole is equal to the sum of its constituent elements.
  • Social reality is made up of variables. They are diverse components that dialogue creating a system.
  • Social transformations obey the intervention of regular elements that do not depend on the desire of individuals. These can be ordered in laws that enable their forecast.
  • Social transformations can be quantified as long as their manifestations are observable. They are the external indicators.
  • Variables can be used as objects.
  • The reality is described through mathematical models.

In the field of social sciences, the studies, in the parameters indicated, aim to indicate the orientations that are susceptible to generalization to a group, community or population.

And in this order of ideas, it seeks to verify the theories through the verification of the hypotheses, also connecting the variables. Ultimately, the most important purpose of the researcher is to produce systematized knowledge.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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