The Complementarity of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Future Studies

Quantitative approaches presume the ability to transform or adapt phenomena into measurable indicators, while qualitative methods are based on the understanding that reality is a social construct. The field of Future Studies (or "Futurology") combines these two. This combination and its deployment forms the core of this paper, which examines the epistemological and methodological dimensions of quantitative and qualitative methods, particularly in light of the diversity of approaches to these methods across the various schools of thought within Futurology. In doing so, the paper seeks to explore the ways in which the synergies between the two main approaches of Futurology can be enhanced. It also explores how the specific subject of study in Futurology impacts the choice of methodology. It identifies a number of conditions and caveats that, if observed, will ensure the use of these quantitative and qualitative techniques in a manner that will produce accurate forecasts.

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Quantitative approaches presume the ability to transform or adapt phenomena into measurable indicators, while qualitative methods are based on the understanding that reality is a social construct. The field of Future Studies (or "Futurology") combines these two. This combination and its deployment forms the core of this paper, which examines the epistemological and methodological dimensions of quantitative and qualitative methods, particularly in light of the diversity of approaches to these methods across the various schools of thought within Futurology. In doing so, the paper seeks to explore the ways in which the synergies between the two main approaches of Futurology can be enhanced. It also explores how the specific subject of study in Futurology impacts the choice of methodology. It identifies a number of conditions and caveats that, if observed, will ensure the use of these quantitative and qualitative techniques in a manner that will produce accurate forecasts.

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