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What Is Social Science Research? - Definition, Methods & Topics

Demography and social statistics, methods and computing

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CiteScore values are based on citation counts in a given year e. More about CiteScore Impact Factor: View More on Journal Insights. Your Research Data Share your research data Visualize your data. A research on behavioral and social processes; B biopsychosocial research; and C research on methodology and measurement in the behavioral and social sciences. Research on behavioral and social processes involves the study of human or animal functioning at the level of the individual, small group, institution, organization, community, or population.

At the individual level, this research may involve the study of behavioral factors such as cognition, memory, language, perception, personality, emotion, motivation, and others.

At higher levels of aggregation, it includes the study of social variables such as the structure and dynamics of small groups e. Research on behavioral and social processes also includes the study of the interactions within and between these two levels of aggregation, such as the influence of sociocultural factors on cognitive processes or emotional responses.

Finally, this research also includes the study of environmental factors both natural and human created such as climate, noise, environmental hazards, residential and other built environments and their effects on behavioral and social functioning.

Examples of research topics and their implications that are or could be funded by NIH Institutes and Centers include:. Sensation and perception Implications: Emotion and motivation Implications: Vulnerability and resilience Implications: Attention, learning and memory Implications: Social influences and social cognition Implications: Family processes and social networks Implications: Sociocultural and environmental processes, population dynamics Implications: Biopsychosocial research also known as biobehavioral or biosocial research involves the study of the interactions of biological factors with behavioral or social variables and how they affect each other i.

Examples of research topics and their implications that are or could be funded by the institutes include:. Gene by environment interactions, including epigenetic effects, over time and lifespan developmental phases Implications: Behavioral, cognitive, social and economic neurosciences Implications: Social Networks and the spread of vectors of disease Implications: Natural and human disasters, diffusion of viruses like AIDS or pandemic flu, social and cultural movements, adoption of fads and fashions that alter dietary habits or physical activity.

Research on methodology and measurement in the behavioral and social sciences. Research on methodology and measurement encompasses the development of new approaches to research design, data collection, measurement, and data analysis. This research is designed to develop research tools that could be used in the behavioral and social sciences or in biomedical research or their interaction. Development of new measurement procedures for behavioral, neuropsychological, and social phenomena.

Applied research in the behavioral and social sciences is designed to predict or influence health outcomes, risks, or protective factors.

It is also concerned with the impact of illness or risk for illness on behavioral or social functioning. Applied research is divided into five categories: The expanding domain of economics in the social sciences has been described as economic imperialism. Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: Education has as one of its fundamental aspects the imparting of culture from generation to generation see socialization.

To educate means 'to draw out', from the Latin educare , or to facilitate the realization of an individual's potential and talents. It is an application of pedagogy , a body of theoretical and applied research relating to teaching and learning and draws on many disciplines such as psychology , philosophy , computer science , linguistics , neuroscience , sociology and anthropology.

The education of an individual human begins at birth and continues throughout life. Some believe that education begins even before birth, as evidenced by some parents' playing music or reading to the baby in the womb in the hope it will influence the child's development.

For some, the struggles and triumphs of daily life provide far more instruction than does formal schooling thus Mark Twain 's admonition to "never let school interfere with your education". Geography as a discipline can be split broadly into two main sub fields: The former focuses largely on the built environment and how space is created, viewed and managed by humans as well as the influence humans have on the space they occupy.

This may involve cultural geography , transportation , health , military operations , and cities. The latter examines the natural environment and how the climate, vegetation and life, soil, oceans , water and landforms are produced and interact. As a result of the two subfields using different approaches a third field has emerged, which is environmental geography. Environmental geography combines physical and human geography and looks at the interactions between the environment and humans.

Geographers attempt to understand the Earth in terms of physical and spatial relationships. The first geographers focused on the science of mapmaking and finding ways to precisely project the surface of the earth.

In this sense, geography bridges some gaps between the natural sciences and social sciences. Historical geography is often taught in a college in a unified Department of Geography. Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline, closely related to GISc , that seeks to understand humanity and its natural environment.

The fields of urban planning , regional science , and planetology are closely related to geography. Practitioners of geography use many technologies and methods to collect data such as GIS , remote sensing , aerial photography , statistics , and global positioning systems GPS.

History is the continuous, systematic narrative and research into past human events as interpreted through historiographical paradigms or theories.

History has a base in both the social sciences and the humanities. In the United States the National Endowment for the Humanities includes history in its definition of humanities as it does for applied linguistics.

The Social Science History Association , formed in , brings together scholars from numerous disciplines interested in social history. The social science of law, jurisprudence , in common parlance, means a rule that unlike a rule of ethics is capable of enforcement through institutions.

The study of law crosses the boundaries between the social sciences and humanities, depending on one's view of research into its objectives and effects. Law is not always enforceable, especially in the international relations context. It has been defined as a "system of rules", [22] as an "interpretive concept" [23] to achieve justice, as an "authority" [24] to mediate people's interests, and even as "the command of a sovereign, backed by the threat of a sanction".

Legal policy incorporates the practical manifestation of thinking from almost every social science and the humanities. Laws are politics, because politicians create them. Law is philosophy, because moral and ethical persuasions shape their ideas. Law tells many of history's stories, because statutes, case law and codifications build up over time.

And law is economics, because any rule about contract , tort , property law , labour law , company law and many more can have long-lasting effects on the distribution of wealth. The noun law derives from the late Old English lagu , meaning something laid down or fixed [26] and the adjective legal comes from the Latin word lex. Linguistics investigates the cognitive and social aspects of human language.

The field is divided into areas that focus on aspects of the linguistic signal, such as syntax the study of the rules that govern the structure of sentences , semantics the study of meaning , morphology the study of the structure of words , phonetics the study of speech sounds and phonology the study of the abstract sound system of a particular language ; however, work in areas like evolutionary linguistics the study of the origins and evolution of language and psycholinguistics the study of psychological factors in human language cut across these divisions.

The overwhelming majority of modern research in linguistics takes a predominantly synchronic perspective focusing on language at a particular point in time , and a great deal of it—partly owing to the influence of Noam Chomsky —aims at formulating theories of the cognitive processing of language. However, language does not exist in a vacuum, or only in the brain, and approaches like contact linguistics, creole studies, discourse analysis , social interactional linguistics, and sociolinguistics explore language in its social context.

Sociolinguistics often makes use of traditional quantitative analysis and statistics in investigating the frequency of features, while some disciplines, like contact linguistics, focus on qualitative analysis. While certain areas of linguistics can thus be understood as clearly falling within the social sciences, other areas, like acoustic phonetics and neurolinguistics , draw on the natural sciences. Linguistics draws only secondarily on the humanities, which played a rather greater role in linguistic inquiry in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Ferdinand Saussure is considered the father of modern linguistics. Political science is an academic and research discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviour.

Fields and subfields of political science include political economy , political theory and philosophy , civics and comparative politics , theory of direct democracy , apolitical governance, participatory direct democracy, national systems, cross-national political analysis, political development, international relations , foreign policy , international law , politics, public administration , administrative behaviour, public law, judicial behaviour, and public policy.

Political science also studies power in international relations and the theory of great powers and superpowers. Approaches to the discipline include rational choice , classical political philosophy, interpretivism , structuralism , and behaviouralism , realism , pluralism, and institutionalism. Political science, as one of the social sciences, uses methods and techniques that relate to the kinds of inquiries sought: Empirical methods include survey research, statistical analysis or econometrics , case studies , experiments, and model building.

Herbert Baxter Adams is credited with coining the phrase "political science" while teaching history at Johns Hopkins University.

Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the study of behaviour and mental processes. Psychology also refers to the application of such knowledge to various spheres of human activity, including problems of individuals' daily lives and the treatment of mental illness. Psychology differs from anthropology , economics , political science , and sociology in seeking to capture explanatory generalizations about the mental function and overt behaviour of individuals, while the other disciplines focus on creating descriptive generalizations about the functioning of social groups or situation-specific human behaviour.

In practice, however, there is quite a lot of cross-fertilization that takes place among the various fields. Psychology differs from biology and neuroscience in that it is primarily concerned with the interaction of mental processes and behaviour, and of the overall processes of a system, and not simply the biological or neural processes themselves, though the subfield of neuropsychology combines the study of the actual neural processes with the study of the mental effects they have subjectively produced.

Many people associate psychology with clinical psychology, which focuses on assessment and treatment of problems in living and psychopathology. In reality, psychology has myriad specialties including social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, educational psychology , industrial-organizational psychology, mathematical psychology , neuropsychology, and quantitative analysis of behaviour.

Psychology is a very broad science that is rarely tackled as a whole, major block. Although some subfields encompass a natural science base and a social science application, others can be clearly distinguished as having little to do with the social sciences or having a lot to do with the social sciences.

For example, biological psychology is considered a natural science with a social scientific application as is clinical medicine , social and occupational psychology are, generally speaking, purely social sciences, whereas neuropsychology is a natural science that lacks application out of the scientific tradition entirely. This is not always necessarily the case however, and in many UK institutions students studying the B. If they applied to read the B. Sociology is the systematic study of society, individuals' relationship to their societies, the consequences of difference, and other aspects of human social action.

Auguste Comte — coined the term, Sociology, as a way to apply natural science principles and techniques to the social world in He proposed that social ills could be remedied through sociological positivism , an epistemological approach outlined in The Course in Positive Philosophy [—] and A General View of Positivism Durkheim set up the first European department of sociology at the University of Bordeaux in , publishing his Rules of the Sociological Method.

Durkheim's seminal monograph, Suicide , a case study of suicide rates among Catholic and Protestant populations, distinguished sociological analysis from psychology or philosophy. Karl Marx rejected Comte's positivism but nevertheless aimed to establish a science of society based on historical materialism , becoming recognized as a founding figure of sociology posthumously as the term gained broader meaning.

Around the start of the 20th century, the first wave of German sociologists, including Max Weber and Georg Simmel , developed sociological antipositivism. The field may be broadly recognized as an amalgam of three modes of social thought in particular: Durkheimian positivism and structural functionalism ; Marxist historical materialism and conflict theory ; and Weberian antipositivism and verstehen analysis.

American sociology broadly arose on a separate trajectory, with little Marxist influence, an emphasis on rigorous experimental methodology, and a closer association with pragmatism and social psychology. In the s, the Chicago school developed symbolic interactionism. Meanwhile, in the s, the Frankfurt School pioneered the idea of critical theory , an interdisciplinary form of Marxist sociology drawing upon thinkers as diverse as Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Critical theory would take on something of a life of its own after World War II, influencing literary criticism and the Birmingham School establishment of cultural studies. Sociology evolved as an academic response to the challenges of modernity , such as industrialization , urbanization , secularization , and a perceived process of enveloping rationalization. The sociological field of interest ranges from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes.

In the terms of sociologists Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann , social scientists seek an understanding of the Social Construction of Reality. Most sociologists work in one or more subfields. One useful way to describe the discipline is as a cluster of sub-fields that examine different dimensions of society.

For example, social stratification studies inequality and class structure; demography studies changes in a population size or type; criminology examines criminal behaviour and deviance; and political sociology studies the interaction between society and state. Since its inception, sociological epistemologies, methods, and frames of enquiry, have significantly expanded and diverged.

Since the late s, many sociologists have tried to make the discipline useful for purposes beyond the academy. The results of sociological research aid educators, lawmakers, administrators, developers, and others interested in resolving social problems and formulating public policy, through subdisciplinary areas such as evaluation research , methodological assessment, and public sociology. In the early s, women sociologists began to question sociological paradigms and the invisibility of women in sociological studies, analysis, and courses.

Today, the sociology of gender is considered to be one of the most prominent sub-fields in the discipline. The origin of the survey can be traced back at least early as the Domesday Book in , [39] [40] while some scholars pinpoint the origin of demography to with the publication of John Graunt 's Natural and Political Observations upon the Bills of Mortality. In contemporary usage, "social research" is a relatively autonomous term, encompassing the work of practitioners from various disciplines that share in its aims and methods.

What is Social Science Research

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Social science research allows us to understand the whys and hows of human behavior. The research must follow the five steps of the scientific method which include asking a question, forming a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, drawing a conclusion, and evaluating those conclusions.

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What is social science? Social science is, in its broadest sense, the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around us. Social science tells us about the world beyond our immediate experience, and can help explain how our own society works - from the causes of unemployment or what helps economic growth, .

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Social Research is a composite of two words “re means again” and search which means to find or to dig or to discover. So the whole word means a process of finding or digging again & again. Literally, research means investigation undertaken in order to discover new facts or additional information. Social science definition is - a branch of science that deals with the institutions and functioning of human society and with the interpersonal relationships of individuals as members of society. How to use social science in a sentence.

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social science n. 1. The study of human society and of individual relationships in and to society. 2. A scholarly or scientific discipline that deals with such study, generally regarded as including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history. social scientist n. social science n 1. (Sociology) the study of society and. Social-science research has documented the unfavorable stereotypes associated with young black men. Trayvon Martin Was the Victim of a Stereotype That Has Its Roots in Crime Statistics Ralph Richard Banks.