Imre Lakatos on statistical techniques in the social sciences

… one wonders whether the function of statistical techniques in the social sciences is not primarily to provide a machinery for producing phoney corroborations and thereby a semblance of ‘scientific progress’ where, in fact, there is nothing but an increase in pseudo-intellectual garbage. …Thus the methodology of research programmes might help us in devising laws for stemming this intellectual pollution which may destroy our cultural environment even earlier than industrial and traffic pollution destroys our physical environment. (p. 88, footnote 4)

Lakatos, I. (1978). Falsification and the methodology of scientific research programmes. In J. Worrall & G. Currie (Eds.), Imre Lakatos: Philosopical papers, Vol. 1: The methodology of scientific research programmes (pp. 8-101). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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