Lecture How do we explain behavior
Behaviour generally refers to actions or reactions (an activity or response of some kind) of an object or organism usually in relation to the environment or surrounding world of stimuli. Behaviour can be conscious or unconscious, overt or covert, voluntary or involuntary, sometimes it can be common, unusual, acceptable, or outside acceptable limits. The acceptability of behavior is evaluated relative to social norms and regulated by various means of social control. Insight into human behavior comes from both scientific and non scientific investigations. The knowledge obtained through the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell) and experiences is non scientific. The knowledge acquired through this method remains private knowledge and cannot be subjected to objective testing. The scientific method consists of a systematic collection of knowledge or truths and inferences after continuous study and experiments. The word science comes from the Latin word scientia, which means knowledge. It has two connotations – content and process. The content is what we know, such as facts we learn in chemistry or psychology courses. Science is also a process – an activity that includes the systematic ways in which data are gathered, relationships are noted and explanations offered. There is a great difference between sociology and physics, psychology and astronomy. For this reason, the sciences are commonly divided into natural and social sciences. Natural science is the study of physical features of nature and the ways in which they interact and change. Astronomy, biology, chemistry, geography and physics are all natural science. Science makes assumptions that every event or action results form an antecedent cause. The primary objective of science is to determine what causes what. Social science focuses on one area of interest: human behaviour to find out what we have in common and how we are distinct as individuals and groups. It is the field of academic discipline that explores aspects of human societies and places emphasis on the use of scientific methods and rigorous standards of evidence in the study of humanity. Social Scientists use research and analysis to explain human behavior in academic disciplines such as Anthropology, criminology, economics, political science, psychology and sociology. They use both qualitative and quantitative approaches and look for consistent patterns of individual and social behavior and for scientific explanations of those patterns. They also test relationships i.e. the way in which one set of conditions / behaviour potentially affects another. A scientific approach is used to understanding behavior. When conducting scientific investigations Social scientists rely on scientific methods in which they specify conditions under which observations are made, they observe in a systematic or orderly way and accept or reject alternative explanations of behaviours on the basis of what is observed. On the other hand known principles and rules, skills, expertise, wisdom and experience are used in the Arts to achieve the desired results. The point is to get the things done in the desired manner to get the desired results. New methods can be adopted from the past experiences and incidences. The Arts rely on voluntary cooperation which is acquired only by practicing the theoretical knowledge skillfully and prudently. The science and arts are mutually exclusive but complementary to each other. The academic disciplines in the social sciences have a common focus on the social behaviour of people, yet each has a particular orientation. Anthropologists usually study past cultures and preindustrial societies that continue today as well as the origins of men and women; this knowledge is used to examine contemporary societies, including even industrial societies. Economists explore the ways in which people produce and exchange goods and services, along...
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