The Definition Of Social Sciences


The reading response by Andrea McCarrick began by explaining the definition of social sciences through the summary of an article by Ian McLain. Social Sciences are the study of human beings in a society that explains the choices they make and their consequences (McLain, 2018). Next, an article, How Scientific is Social Science, shows that human behavior can be predictable. McCarrick draws a parallel between the previous article and a study by Kirkendall about the relationship between social sciences and politics – fear of science and its implications for society. The article by Hansen, Value and Social Sciences, explains how values matter when constructing social experiments, confirming the opinions of other responses. Lastly, McCarrick explains that the final article explains that social sciences are objective in their results.


The reading response by Antonio Gutierrez begins by examining an article that explains how personal bias can corrupt social science research. Gutierrez agrees with the other readers by stating in his analysis of How Scientific is Social Science that social sciences are very objective and hold value. Later, he explains how Mack examined the fear of social sciences, another point many others have written about in their reading responses. Their analysis of the article Value and Social Sciences differs from the previous reading response by concluding that it showed that society would view social problems through moral values. Lastly, they analyze the main research question – what sciences are soft or hard? He explains that there is no need for a hierarchy of sciences because establishing it wastes time.

In Mats reading response to the article by Raymond Mack, they outline how social sciences were a newly emerging field that was not readily accepted. They cite the Newsweek columnist Raymond Moley and other examples of scientific discoveries that were heavily scrutinized. Later, the response discusses the political implications of social sciences, specifically in the field of climate advocacy. Mats opinion aligns with the previous two students’ that the values of sociologists impact the results of their data. The reader also disagrees with other readers on the article Hierarchy of Sciences by stating that it is natural for researchers to desire their field to be taken seriously. They concluded by stating that social sciences are more scientific than other fields.

The week one reading response by Rachael Ericson has a detailed summary of How Scientific is Social Science. It first covers how social sciences must be considered a science because of their empirical data collection, logical deductions, and relevance to society’s results. However, in contrast to others, Ericson details how the article describes social sciences are probabilistic due to their ties to human interactions and psychology. On the topic of values, Ericson provides an example of unethical actions by oil companies. Like the rest of the responses, this paper expresses how social sciences are dismissed and feared because of their impact on politics. The article by Hanson described through its conclusion that social sciences do not need a hypothesis to be worthy of study.


Rylan O’Keefe begins the reading responses by stating in the article by McLain that social sciences are soft science that examines human relationships. Unlike McCarrick, the reader explains how social sciences cannot predict human behavior but only make generalized statements about it. O’Keefe explains how social sciences are a legitimate field of study that can sadly be corrupted by conflicting interests of the researchers, like others in their responses. Like other responses, this paper describes how unjust it is that social sciences are feared and censored because of their implications for politics and business. O’Keefe does not find an issue with social research being affected by the researchers values, and they find the discussion on Hierarchy of the Sciences by Hanson.


McLain, I. (2018). What is Social Science? The British Academy. Web.