Journal article

Statistics and Probability Have Always Been Value-Laden: An Historical Ontology of Quantitative Research Methods

Michael J Zyphur, Dean C Pierides

Journal of Business Ethics | Springer Verlag | Published : 2020


Quantitative researchers often discuss research ethics as if specific ethical problems can be reduced to abstract normative logics (e.g., virtue ethics, utilitarianism, deontology). Such approaches overlook how values are embedded in every aspect of quantitative methods, including ‘observations,’ ‘facts,’ and notions of ‘objectivity.’ We describe how quantitative research practices, concepts, discourses, and their objects/subjects of study have always been value-laden, from the invention of statistics and probability in the 1600s to their subsequent adoption as a logic made to appear as if it exists prior to, and separate from, ethics and values. This logic, which was embraced in the Academy..

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University of Melbourne Researchers