The data seem so much less real once you ask the same person the same question twice

October 12th, 2009  |  Published in Data, Social Science, Statistics

I identify with Jeremy Freese to an unhealthy degree. When the other options are to a) have a life; or b) do something that advances his career, he chooses to concoct a home-brewed match between GSS respondents in 2006 and their 2008 re-interviews. I would totally do this. I still might do this.

And then he drops the brutal insight that provides my title. Context.

UPDATE: And then Kieran Healy drops this:

The real distinction between qualitative and quantitative is not widely appreciated. People think it has something to do with counting versus not counting, but this is a mistake. If the interpretive work necessary to make sense of things is immediately obvious to everyone, it’s qualitative data. If the interpretative work you need to do is immediately obvious only to experts, it’s quantitative data.

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