Distinguishing Social Research from Scientific Research

Social Research vs Scientific Research

Both social and scientific research are essential for understanding social and natural phenomena and generating new knowledge. While scientists conduct research on the physical aspects of the world, social scientists analyze human social behavior. The methods used in both areas of research vary depending on the study. Social research can be qualitative, quantitative, or both, while scientific research is primarily quantitative. Despite their differences, both research areas are crucial for understanding natural and social phenomena.

What is Social Research?

Social research investigates human behavior in social life. In recent years, social science research methods have become more objective and scientific. Qualitative approaches involve participant observation and communication with participants, focusing on quality. Quantitative approaches rely on statistical data and analyzing social phenomena through countable evidence, focusing on quantity. Most social researchers currently use both methods to achieve objectivity in their findings. However, personal feelings may sometimes influence the results, leading to subjective and biased research.

Key Takeaways

  • Social research is used to investigate human behavior in social life, using qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Scientific research is associated with natural sciences and uses empirical and measurable techniques to study phenomena objectively.
  • While both social and scientific research aim to be objective and accurate, social research is more prone to bias and can be difficult to replicate due to changing variables.

What is Scientific Research?

Scientific research is related to natural sciences such as physics and chemistry. Researchers in this field aim to generate new knowledge by using empirical and measurable techniques. Scientific studies are generally accurate and objective, following measurable analytical methods that can be replicated by others. Researchers can modify variables to achieve desired results. Scientific research typically begins with a hypothesis that is tested to determine its validity. Natural phenomena are less likely to change over time, and theories in scientific research tend to remain constant for longer periods.

What is the difference between Social Research and Scientific Research?

Both social and scientific research strive for objectivity and accuracy, with researchers following systematic and transparent processes. However, there are several differences between the two:

  • Social research is difficult to repeat due to changing variables, while scientific research can be replicated multiple times if necessary.
  • Social research results are subject to change with variable adjustments, while scientific research results tend to last longer.
  • Biases are more likely in social research, while they are less prevalent in scientific research.
  • Social research takes place within a society, while scientific research is conducted in a laboratory setting.

Both research areas are vital for understanding social and natural phenomena and generating new knowledge in the world.

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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