Reductionist

- Root metaphor: Mechanical clockwork universe
- Paradigmatic case: Newtonian physics
- Complete, consistent, deterministic structures
- Whole is sum of parts
- Sufficient statistics: Mean & std deviation
- Uncertainty is variation across repeated measures
- Test/survey items in use define totality of universe of possibility; changes in items change that universe
- Descriptive, reactionary
- Microlevel facts are supposed to additively combine into general laws
- General laws are discovered by measuring
- Top down data analytics influence policy
- Externally imposed assembly processes
- Subject/object dualism institutionalized in data analytics process
- Data are hallmark criterion of objectivity
- Subjectivity discounted, removed if possible
- Counts are quantities
- Ordinal scores treated as interval measures with no justification
- Score variation relates solely to person characteristics
- Score meaning tied to particular questions asked
- Quantitative methods don’t define unit quantities or test for them
- Qualitative data and methods are separated from quantitative data/methods
- No model of construct stated or tested
- Group level multivariate focus
- P-values are primary model fit criterion
- Population sampling motivates probabilistic approach
- Equating based on statistical assumptions concerning score distribution

Nonreductionist

- Root metaphor: Living organic universe
- Paradigmatic case: Multilevel ecosystems
- Incomplete, not perfectly consistent, stochastic structures
- Whole is greater than sum of parts
- Sufficient statistics: scores
- Uncertainty is resonance of stochastic invariance within individual measures
- Test/survey items in use sample from infinite population; changes in items used do not change that universe
- Prescriptive, anticipatory
- Microlevel facts self-organize into meso abstractions & macro formalisms
- Measuring presumes general laws
- Bottom up alignments and coordinations of decisions and behaviors move society
- Internal processes of self-organization
- Mutually implied subject-object entangled together in playful flow institutionalized via distributed instrumentation
- Objectivity requires data explained by theory embodied in instruments
- Subjectivity included as valid source of concerns and insights scrutinized for value
- Counts might lead to quantity definition
- Interval measures theoretically and empirically substantiated
- Empirical & theoretical measure variation maps construct via items and persons
- Measure meaning is independent of particular questions asked
- Quantitative methods define unit quantities and test for them
- Qualitative methods are integrated with quantitative methods
- Mathematical, observation, and construct models stated and tested
- Individual level univariate focus
- Meaningful construct definition primary model fit criterion
- Individual response process motivates probabilistic approach
- Equating requires alignment of items along common dimension

Tags: philosophy

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