Difference Between Science and Social Sciences

Science vs Social Sciences

Between Science and social sciences, there exist a recognizable difference, despite the fact that both are categorized as two types of science. Simply science includes natural science, pure and physical science. Social sciences, on the other hand, include a number of disciplines such as sociology, political science, geography, demography, economics, etc. This highlights that the subject matter brings about the most significant difference between the two sciences. While science in general, pays attention to the natural world, in social sciences, the focus is on the human being in the social and cultural context.

What is Science?

Science can simply be defined as the study of the physical and the natural world. This is distinguished into three fields of study as pure science, natural science, and physical science. In all three fields, a very scientific methodology is employed in order to bring new theories and laws. Hence, the level of empiricism is very high in natural sciences. There are also general laws such as the law of gravity, which is applied to all situations in research. The reliance on quantitative data can also be seen in this branch of science. Also, the usage of the experimental method is frequent. In science, the accuracy of a theory is proven by redoing the test. It is believed that if the same results can be obtained in all attempts the theory is accurate. However, in most occasions, along with new laws of science, theories become disproven. Since the subject material of science is different from social sciences, research takes place in controlled settings in most occasions. The findings and data obtained are also very reliable and accurate.

Difference Between Science and Social Sciences - What is Science

What are Social Sciences?

Social sciences focus on the human being; the individual and group behaviour in different settings. This includes a number of disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology, geography, history, political science, etc. Unlike in the case of natural sciences, in social sciences it is difficult to employ a highly scientific methodology. This is mainly because we are dealing with human beings who are very diverse. In social sciences, both quantitative and qualitative research methods are used. In some research,both are used by the researcher to increase the reliability of data. This is considered as triangulation. Different methods and techniques are used to gather information. They are interview method, observation method, surveys, case studies, etc. Also, in social sciences, it is very difficult to conduct research in controlled settings. This is because when people are aware that theyare being watched, the behaviour naturally changes. Then the validity of data becomes doubtful. In any case, unlike in science, it is difficult to obtain completely reliable and accurate data. This can be considered as one of the reasons why social sciences do not possess a similar level of empiricism as science.

Difference Between Science and Social Sciences - What are Social Sciences

What is the difference between Science and Social Sciences?

• Science is the study of the physical and natural world whereas social sciences study human behaviour in different settings.

• In science,the accuracy and validity of data are very high in comparison to social sciences.

• In science, a controlled setting can be used for experimental research whereas, in social sciences, this is not possible.

• In science, a theory can be tested again and again yet acquire the same results but, in social sciences, this can be difficult.


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  1. Biology by  Marshman (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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