Social Science Religion Society and Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

8). The questionnaires used in answering the first two questions are examples of these research methods.

It is also extremely unlikely that the findings of any such study would ever be replicable, which is one of the hallmarks fo the scientific method in the hard sciences (Perry & Perry 2008). As society is in a constant state of change, the results found in one study (which would take several months if not years to complete) would likely no longer be fully applicable if another study taking a similar period of time were conducted. The degree to which the two studies agreed might be a useful measure of the validity of the studies, but if the conclusions were too similar it would actually suggest that the questions were probably too vague and non-definitive, whereas a wide divergence might be accounted for by radical social shifts that occurred in the interim. Thus, though the scientific method must certainly be applied to the examination of social questions, it can only go so far.

Conclusion

The scientific method is hugely important in all forms of scientific inquiry, and the noted limitations of these research methods in the social sciences should not be read as a reason to abandon the scientific method altogether. Instead, a simple understanding of the scientific method's limitations in the social or "soft" sciences must be reached and utilized during the course of research. It is important that the scientific method be utilized insofar as possible, and only departed from when the realities of the investigation truly demand it -- and even then, the uncertainty of data and conclusions must be acknowledged and understood. In this way, though they will never be capable of true scientific certainty, the social science can remain viable.

References

Perry, J. & Perry, E. (2008). Contemporary society:…

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