Distinguishing Science from Social Sciences

Science vs Social Sciences

While both Science and Social Sciences fall under the category of “science,” there is a distinct difference between the two. Science mainly encompasses natural science, pure science, and physical science, whereas social sciences include disciplines such as sociology, political science, geography, demography, and economics. The primary differentiation between the two sciences lies in their subject matter. Science generally focuses on the natural world, while social sciences concentrate on human beings in social and cultural contexts.

What is Science?

Science can be defined as the study of the physical and natural world. This field is divided into three areas of study: pure science, natural science, and physical science. In all three fields, a highly scientific methodology is employed to develop new theories and laws. As a result, the level of empiricism is very high in natural sciences. General laws, like the law of gravity, are applied to all situations in research. Science also relies heavily on quantitative data and frequently uses the experimental method. In science, the accuracy of a theory is proven by redoing tests. It is believed that if the same results can be obtained in all attempts, the theory is accurate. However, new laws of science often disprove theories. Since science’s subject material differs from social sciences, research mostly takes place in controlled settings. The findings and data obtained are generally very reliable and accurate.

What are Social Sciences?

Social sciences focus on human beings, specifically individual and group behavior in different settings. This field includes disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology, geography, history, and political science. In social sciences, it is difficult to employ a highly scientific methodology since it deals with diverse human beings. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods are used in social sciences, with some research using both to increase data reliability. This is known as triangulation. Various methods and techniques, such as interviews, observations, surveys, and case studies, are used to gather information. It is challenging to conduct research in controlled settings in social sciences since people’s behaviors tend to change when they know they are being watched, resulting in doubtful data validity. Consequently, it is difficult to obtain completely reliable and accurate data in social sciences, which is why they do not possess the same level of empiricism as science.

Key Takeaways

  • Science studies the physical and natural world; social sciences study human behavior in different settings.
  • Data accuracy and validity are higher in science compared to social sciences.
  • Controlled settings can be used for experimental research in science, but not in social sciences, where obtaining completely reliable and accurate data is difficult.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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