Books / Ebooks
Emotions (descriptions of emotions)
Journals / Diaries
Newspapers / News Articles
Social Media Posts
Visual Expressions / Art
Detailed ExamplesA scientist observes an animal in its natural habitat and makes notes.An economist interviews consumers to capture information about how household purchasing decisions are made.A video game player describes the personality of a non-player character in a forum post.An urban planner talks to the people in a community to document their needs. A physicist composes a thought experiment that leads to an important theory that is confirmed with quantitative data decades later.An engineer develops a first principle for reliability engineering that is used to improve the safety of hundreds of products.An artist expresses something about the human experience in a work that is viewed as a priceless artifact of humanity. A writer develops a character that captures the popular imagination.A business leader comes up with a strategy that is expressed in words that has great value to a firm.A newspaper article from 1892 captures how people viewed gender norms at the time. A science fiction film develops a idea that becomes an important social and political concept.A psychology professor develops a model of human development that is documented with words and visual diagrams.
NotesHumans operate at the level of qualitative information, particularly a system of abstract concepts known as language (e.g. most words are abstract concepts). As such, much of what occurs in a human society isn't well measured with numbers.
Digital vs QuantitativeJust because something can be digitized doesn't mean that it is quantitative. For example, you could digitize an image of the Mona Lisa but that doesn't mean that the meaning of the Mona Lisa can be understood with data processing and statistics.
|Overview: Qualitative Information
Human generated information that is difficult to turn into numbers with any accuracy.