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Are Social Sciences viable as actual scientific research?
11-05-2018 13:45

Robin son


Gia nhập: 05.05.18
Bài viết: 17
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A question for those of you who are employed or simply interested in scientific areas: Do you feel that psychology, sociology and other such social sciences are scientifically apt? Do they deserve to be called sciences? Is it enough to follow scientifically-based methods when dealing with unprovable and often not-exactly-testable phenomena such as human behavior, or does this render them short of some reliability curve?I ask this as the recent recipient of a degree in Psychology. I was somewhat irritated at first to realize that I have acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree, but upon further reflection I do see why the degree is labeled as such. There seems to be an innate conflation of art-like and scientific factors in practically any social science; on the one hand, you have applied psychology, which includes therapists and any area that benefits from further understanding of human behavior such as business and government. On the other hand, there is the more rigorous experimental/academic region of study. What happens in one world does not necessarily impact the other; there are still therapists practicing completely specious and even potentially harmful "treatments", and a significant number of people who still believe that things that Freud said are true when they bear almost no scientific corroboration. In the other camp there are, you have people doing functionally meaningless science staring at statistics and neurological readings for years on end who have no impact on what the vast majority of people do, regardless of the value and importance of their work.Psychology is a science without a paradigm, broadly speaking; as a researcher or practitioner, you are still free to pick and choose which theories you find most apt and extrapolate from there. This sort of freedom, coupled with the rather indefinite and potentially untestable nature of the subject matter (ie. humans), seems to give a veneer of reasonability to the lunatic fringe. While there are always such crackpots in most disciplines, the social sciences seem to be a breeding ground for them, and even the most scattered theory that has an ounce or three of statistical significance can't simply be dismissed out of hand; without causation, all the science you care to supply proves nothing.I still think that studying social phenomena with scientific mechanisms is a great idea. I'm just curious, really, as to how the greater scientific community (of this board, at least) views social sciences.

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