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Publication - Professor David Manley

    Quantitative methods I

    The world we have lost – or where we started from


    Johnston, R, Harris, RJ, Jones, K, Manley, D, Wang, WW & Wolf, L, 2019, ‘Quantitative methods I: The world we have lost – or where we started from’. Progress in Human Geography, vol 43., pp. 1133-1142


    Although pioneering studies using statistical methods in geographical data analysis were published in the 1930s, it was only in the 1960s that their increasing use in human geography led to a claim that a ‘quantitative revolution’ had taken place. The widespread use of quantitative methods from then on was associated with changes in both disciplinary philosophy and substantive focus. The first decades of the ‘revolution’ saw quantitative analyses focused on the search for spatial order of a geometric form within an, often implicit, logical positivist framework. In the first of three reviews of the use of quantitative methods in human geography, this progress report uncovers their origin with regard to the underlying philosophy, the focus on spatial order, and the nature of the methods deployed. Subsequent reports will outline the changes in all three that occurred in later decades and will chart the contemporary situation.

    Full details in the University publications repository