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Similarities and differences between social science and natural science.

By keonman78 Mar 09, 2004 848 Words
Science is the The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. . In other words ,it is such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena and Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.

Therefore the purpose of the science should be description, explanation, control and prediction. Description is summary the something and try to show the phenomena actually. Explanation is statement about specific phenomenon furthermore define the reason and result. Prediction is using a basic theory , to create more complicated theory.

I mention these thing just briefly. I'll discuss those thing more seriously after;

So what is social science?

The study of human society and of individual relationships in and to society. Also it can be defined as a scholarly or scientific discipline that deals with such study, generally regarded as including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history.

And then, what is natural science?

A science, such as biology, chemistry, or physics, that deals with the objects, phenomena, or laws of nature and the physical world.

However can I think human behaviour should be studied in the same manner as other phenomena in the natural world?

Some people don't think that social science can be involved category of science. Because they don't think it is possible to submit people to any study that can be called scientific.

Even though , social science and natural science are rely on those goal.

1.Description 2. Explanation 3. Prediction 4. Control

1. Description

The similarities between natural science and social science are which they are both observing specific phenomena. But observation for social scientist can be divided as observation, asking question, studying written document. But natural scientist is not able to use those ways. Because people can not be studied like metals and chemicals. They do not behave in consistent ways.If natural scientist observate something , it can be a sort of measurement.

But in social scientist can not measure people. Because people have motive and perception. In other words, social science is based on intuition and guesswork. Natural science has to be more accurate. It has to find cause and effect from specific phenomena.


In natural science , explanation means identify the time order of event and establish casual links between variables.

But in social science it can not be adapted exactly. Because people has got own personality which can change following specific situation , also in people's society , timing of event is not always accurate as something happen in natural science. Rules of natural science can not be the same as social science.

When natural scientist discover some cause and effect from specific phenomena , they have to stop there. But in social science , if they discover something, they need to define that phenomena, to add the meaning what we do . Besides they would better think that phenomena linking with culture and society.


In social science, scientist can explain something without being able to make a prediction .social science prediction have more actuality rather than determinate. For example, social scientist research rate of divorce in age 30 to 40 English people in England. But in my country Korea, social scientist can not predict rate of divorce age 30 to 40 Korean using a that research. Because those people has got own identity and there are tow different culture between two country.

But in natural science event has to be explained by cause and result. It means that scientist definitely find theory and rule which can demonstrate that phenomenon. So If Korean scientist discover some chemical reaction between two element, English scientist can predict any event using a that discovery.

4. Control

In natural science the natural order of subject which is studied is not necessary to study. In other words that is not core study for natural scientist. And natural scientist doesn't have to encourage that order to change itself. It is not really helpful for natural science studies, it doesn't matter to be good organized or not.

This is a example. In natural science, we have found some element have a chain reaction with specific element. It is just a fact. We can evaluate that response is good or not.

But social science is the study which is aim on human being. Therefore social scientist wish change this society. Understanding of this society is essential for their study. So they need to evaluate situation which they face, they need to discuss phenomenon to make a better society

I have been trying to compare social science and natural science so far.

The similarities in each science is each science are using similar way to study a phenomenon. In other words the purpose of both science are description, explanation, prediction and control of event.

But I have to make sure that even though each science are using similar way of studying , what they are trying to achieve is fundamentally different.

The purpose of social science is studying this society and people. So for social science understanding of current society is valuable and social science should be a critical studying for better ideology.

In natural science is different. It has to be focused on what's going on in natural world. That means consistent relationship between variables through the time and space is essential rather than people.

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