What is scientific about social science? The complexity of measuring human behavior


Abstract


The social and behavioral sciences share many characteristics with the «hard» or «natural» sciences, including a commitment to the systematic analysis of empirical data, whether quantitative or qualitative. Yet the subject matter of social science is sometimes elusive, involving many abstract entities like values and cultures, and its methods do not always involve measurement or experimentation. Is social science «scientific» or is it not? 


Keywords


social science; humanities; scientific method; participant observation

References


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