Social Science

The social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that study human aspects of the world. They diverge from the arts and humanities in that the social sciences tend to emphasize the use of the scientific method in the study of humanity, including quantitative and qualitative methods.

The social sciences, in studying subjective, inter-subjective and objective or structural aspects of society, were traditionally referred to as soft sciences. This is in contrast to hard sciences, such as the natural science, which may focus exclusively on objective aspects of nature. Nowadays, however, the distinction between the so-called soft and hard sciences is blurred. Some social science subfields have become very quantitative in methodology or behavioral in approach. Conversely, the interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature of scientific inquiry into human behavior and social and environmental factors affecting it have made many of the so-called hard sciences dependent on social science methodology. Examples of boundary blurring include emerging disciplines like social studies of medicine, neuropsychology, bioeconomics and the history and sociology of science. Increasingly, quantitative and qualitative methods are being integrated in the study of human action and its implications and consequences.

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