“What are the main difficulties human scientists confront when trying to provide explanations of human behaviour? What methods have been invented to circumvent these difficulties and to minimize their influence on the results that are obtained? ” Although many people in the field of human sciences try to get their disciplines to be recognized as pure sciences, there are many differences that distinguish the natural sciences from the human sciences. There is a certain kudos that comes with the natural sciences that people in the human sciences crave, but human sciences can never be like the natural sciences.
This is what causes there to be difficulties with human scientists trying to explain their science. They lack the definite, and factual ground on which the natural sciences are based. When a natural scientist hypothesises that when he heats some water to 100 degrees, it will boil. And then after an experiment, it is shown that it does, one can not argue that perhaps on another day the water wouldn’t feel like boiling at 100 degrees, or that perhaps it was only boiling at that temperature because there were people watching.Order now
Water boiling at 100 degrees is a scientific fact. It will occur every time the experiment is carried out. However, in the field of human sciences, these facts do not exist, and this makes it very difficult for a human scientist to prove any of his theories, or speculate on situations with any authority. The reason for this is that the study of human sciences involves, obviously, human behaviour. Human behaviour does not follow the same patterns that are observed with particles of matter, or certain metals, it is almost totally unpredictable.
However, the human sciences do use similar methods of attaining knowledge to the natural sciences. The methods by which the human scientist attains knowledge has the same basic principles to that of the natural scientist. They have hypotheses which they test through observing, and analysing their observations. However, in the natural sciences, the observer is quite distinct from the experiment, as an astronomist is distinct from the planets and stars that he is observing. Whereas, in the human sciences, a human is the observer, and humans are the experiment.
This complicates things. In every science there are theories. In the natural sciences these theories can be proved true or false, and therefore it can be determined whether these theories have an effect the result of the experiment. In the human sciences, a theory can affect the experiment whether it is true or false, and so all theories have to be considered by the person conducting the experiment. Another difficulty that the human scientists have to face is that the behaviour of their subjects can change depending on whether the subject knows about the experiment or not.
For example, if an experiment was to observe the way someone reacted when faced with a certain situation, and if there was a camera there filming the person, they might act very differently from what they would if there wasn’t a camera there, or if they didn’t know there was a camera there. It is these sorts of problems that make it difficult for the human scientist to conclude anything from their experiment. Any conclusions that they do try to draw can be easily dismissed. That can merely suggest possible trends in behaviour, or possible reasons for a persons actions.
This is all merely speculation and it is difficult for anyone to believe that these human sciences have any true value, in the sense that the natural sciences are valuable. However, there are methods that are used to circumvent the difficulties faced by the human sciences. In their experimentation, to get the most accurate result, they use the greatest sample number of people as possible. This gives the observer a much clearer view of the human behaviour of the general population, as opposed to one person, or a small group of people.
This does not give them hard facts of course, but their findings can be much more persuasive if the experiment involved many people. Another method which they employ, which is very important, is making sure that â€“ in some experiments this may not need be the case â€“ the people in the experiment, are unaware of their involvement. People act very differently if they know they are being observed. If this method can be kept to, the behaviour of the people in the experiment will be much more natural, and so the results will be more accurate.
These methods are not foolproof, but they help in making the results more accurate. The human sciences can never be the same as the natural sciences, in the way of giving hard facts, and having laws which are never broken, but they are still useful.. They are used to predict the human behaviour of a group of people, based on trends that have emerged from the results of their experiments. They will always have difficulties in justifying and explaining their results, but that certainly doesn’t mean that the human sciences are worthless. They play an important role in the global society that we live in today.