SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE 4
Socialscientific knowledge aims to explain, describe and interpret socialfacts and behaviors around nature. In other words, social scientificknowledge uses science to make enquires, evaluations and conclusionson various values in our domain. The fact that science is used insocial scientific knowledge means that various generalizations andassumptions are made in the study. Therefore, some assumptions arevalid while some are not. This is because science leaves nothing tochance and any notion that a variable could exert some influencemeans that its inclusion in the study is valid. Science is based onthe premise of using justified methods to test and enquire aboutvarious phenomenas.
Thetests and enquiries made are made by professionals or specialist intheir various areas of profession or on a subject matter. This is oneof the reasons why social scientific knowledge is significantly apowerful source of knowledge than any other form of knowledge. Thisis because experiments are conducted by specialist who understand thesubject of concern and have vast insight in the subject. As earlierstated, science allows for generalization and this allows all sortsof assumptions to be used in the study. This is a huge plus in socialscientific knowledge because sometimes various variables that mighthave been screened from the process are included in the study andthis turns out the game changers in the study. Finally, socialscientific knowledge allows for predictions in experiments and tests.Unlike other forms of knowledge, scientific knowledge accepts the useof intuition and educated guesses in a bid to come up withconclusions and answers to questions being sought(Little,2008).
However,social scientific knowledge has several shortcomings when compared toother forms of knowledge. For example, since scientific knowledgeallows the use of assumptions and generalizations in experiments andtest, this might lead to time wastage. This is because variousvariables which may not have a relationship with the subject ofinterest might be included in the study and this may slow down theprocess. Secondly, social scientific knowledge experiments areconducted by specialist or people with enormous knowledge about thesubject of interest and this may have adverse effects on the study.The specialists may have developed a particular attitude or have afixed mind set in the experiment and this may affect the outcome ofthe study.
Thereare five basic steps used in social scientific method. The initialstep is the identification of the variables or identifying theproblem statement. A problem statement is used to describe thesubject matter being researched and the necessary variables areidentified. The second step involves formulating a hypothesis. Ahypothesis is an assumption made about the value of parametersdeveloped in order to test a theory. For example, a hypothesis wouldassume that the average age of a population is 30. The third stepinvolves the testing of variables. The variable are tested andmeasured to establish if there is a relationship with the assumedhypothesis. The fourth step involves making an evaluation on therelationship established between variables when compared with thehypothesis and the generalizations about the findings that have beendeveloped. Finally, the theoretical significance of the findings inthe study is conducted. This involves a look at the factors involvedin the study that may have distorted the results of the study andother inquiries that come up (Hoover & Donovan, 2011).
Hoover,K., & Donovan, T. (2011). Theelemments of Social Scientific Thinking.Boston: Cengage Learning.
Little,D. (2008, February). Whatis Scientific social knowledge?Retrieved January 14, 2015, from University of Michigan-Dearborn:http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/~delittle/Encyclopedia%20entries/What%20is%20scientific%20social%20knowledge.htm