Reversible Relationship between Quantitative
and Qualitative Data in Self-Consciousness
Research: A Normative Semiotic Model for the
Phenomenological Dialogue between Data and
MARIANE L. DE SOUZA
, WILLIAM B. GOMES
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul;
Northern Arizona University.
Abstract. The aim of this study was to explore modes of integration of quantitative and
qualitative data to verify existence of psychological constructs. Data obtained with a Likert-
type rating scale and with narrative accounts of signiﬁcant life-events were compared and
integrated via logical analysis to examine the psychological construct of self-consciousness.
Undergraduates between 17 and 32 years of age (78 females and 23 males) participated.
Psychometric analysis of the scale classiﬁed the subjects’ focus of self-consciousness (public
and private) into three levels: high, average or low. Independent judges evaluated self-con-
sciousness proﬁles from the narrative accounts. Analysis veriﬁed the compatibility between
self-consciousness scale measurements and self-consciousness proﬁles on narrative accounts.
The results illustrate possibilities for and limitations of such comparisons, and also suggest
criteria for comparing the same phenomenon in diﬀerent contexts. Guidelines for choice of
instrumentation in gathering data for research and practice are also presented.
Key words: phenomenology, quantity, quality, self-consciousness, measurement issues.
The ongoing controversy in psychology over qualitative vs. quantitative
research focuses on three main points. First, researchers with a historical
tradition of quantitative analysis tend to rely on statistical formulas to
analyze data. Second, researchers with a historical tradition of qualitative
analysis focus on the diﬀerences between quantitative and qualitative anal-
ysis, arguing for the greater potential of qualitative methods (Burman, 1997).
Third, a growing number of researchers avoid competition between quanti-
tative and qualitative methods by developing strategies for a productive
sharing of research experiences (Niaz, 1997). This new trend advances
Quality & Quantity (2005) 39: 199–215 Ó Springer 2005