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In mathematics and empirical science, quantification (or quantitation) is the act of counting and measuring that maps human sense observations and experiences into quantities. Quantification in this sense is fundamental to the scientific method.

Natural science

Some measure of the undisputed general importance of quantification in the natural sciences can be gleaned from the following comments:

  • "these are mere facts, but they are quantitative facts and the basis of science."[1]
  • It seems to be held as universally true that "the foundation of quantification is measurement."[2]
  • There is little doubt that "quantification provided a basis for the objectivity of science."[3]
  • In ancient times, "musicians and artists ... rejected quantification, but merchants, by definition, quantified their affairs, in order to survive, made them visible on parchment and paper."[4]
  • Any reasonable "comparison between Aristotle and Galileo shows clearly that there can be no unique lawfulness discovered without detailed quantification."[5]
  • Even today, "universities use imperfect instruments called 'exams' to indirectly quantify something they call knowledge."[6]

This meaning of quantification comes under the heading of pragmatics.[clarification needed]

In some instances in the natural sciences a seemingly intangible concept may be quantified by creating a scale—for example, a pain scale in medical research, or a discomfort scale at the intersection of meteorology and human physiology such as the heat index measuring the combined perceived effect of heat and humidity, or the wind chill factor measuring the combined perceived effects of cold and wind.

Social sciences

In the social sciences, quantification is an integral part of economics and psychology. Both disciplines gather data – economics by empirical observation and psychology by experimentation – and both use statistical techniques such as regression analysis to draw conclusions from it.

In some instances a seemingly intangible property may be quantified by asking subjects to rate something on a scale—for example, a happiness scale or a quality-of-life scale—or by the construction of a scale by the resea

Some measure of the undisputed general importance of quantification in the natural sciences can be gleaned from the following comments:

  • "these are mere facts, but they are quantitative facts and the basis of science."[1]
  • It seems to be held as universally true that "the foundation of quantification is measurement."[2]
  • There is little doubt that "quantification provided a basis for the objectivity of science."[3]
  • In ancient times, "musicians and artists ... rejected quantification, but merchants, by definition, quantified their affairs, in order to survive, made them visible on parchment and paper."[4]
  • Any reasonable "comparison between Aristotle and Galileo shows clearly that there can be no unique lawfulness discovered without detailed quantification."[5]
  • Even today, "universities use imperfect instruments called 'exams' to indirectly quantify something they call knowledge."[6]

This meaning of quantification comes under the heading of pragmatics.[This meaning of quantification comes under the heading of pragmatics.[clarification needed]

In some instances in the natural sciences a seemingly intangible concept may be quantified by creating a scale—for example, a pain scale in medical research, or a discomfort scale at the intersection of meteorology and human physiology such as the heat index measuring the combined perceived effect of heat and humidity, or the wind chill factor measuring the combined perceived effects of cold and wind.

Social sciences