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Trust in Numbers – The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life

Theodore M. Porter


What accounts for the prestige of quantitative methods? The usual answer is that quantification is desirable in social investigation as a result of its successes in science. This book questions whether such success in the study of stars, molecules, or cells should be an attractive model for research on human societies, and examines why the natural sciences are highly quantitative in the first place. The book argues that a better understanding of the attractions of quantification in business, government, and social research brings a fresh perspective to its role in psychology, physics, and medi ... More

Keywords: quantification, quantitative methods, social investigation, bureaucracy, natural sciences

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780691208411
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691208411.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Theodore M. Porter, author
University of California, Los Angeles