Social sciences, such as political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and geography, have emerged as its own group much more recently in comparison to the natural sciences. Natural sciences involve physics, biology, chemistry, geology, and astronomy – all of which deal with the laws that relate to nature. The social sciences all deal with the study of human behavior, either individually or as a whole. However, since human behavior can be altered or developed as a result of a chemical imbalance, or even by socialization, it can also be considered as a natural science. To favor importance over social sciences verses natural sciences is not possible; it is important to understand both sciences – to understand one science, you must understand the other.
According to Strada, modern-day social sciences are very complicated. “In defining social scientists professionally, most identify with a specific social science discipline.” For example, not only are there separate departments of political science, economics, sociology, psychology, etc., there are sub-categories to them: social psychologists, political geographers, economic psychologists, anthropological geographers, etc. Despite the number of categories, all social scientists use similar research methods. They can utilize survey research, experimental design, and participant observation, which place the researcher in the midst of the action. Another research method is called content analysis, which uses written documents as a source of information about the person or group in question. Case studies, another research design, seek truth by dissecting past events and applying relevant insight to similar situations. A question they may frequently ask when browsing for good case studies is, “Of what is this an instance?” Natural science on the other hand relies more on the loosely structured scientific method to conduct their experiments and theories. Instead of observing human behavior, natural...
Cited: Strada, Michael J. Through the Global Lens: An Introduction to the Social Sciences. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. Print.
[ 1 ]. Michael J. Strada, Through the Global Lens: An Introduction to the Social Sciences (Prentice Hall, 2003), 36.
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