What does it mean to think in a social scientific way? In part, social science draws on
methods of observation and experimentation utilized in the physical and natural sciences.
But social scientists deal with human behavior and social institutions, which are not easily
placed in the controlled environment associated with scientific investigation. Social scientists
must be prepared to adapt their methods frequently, and they must ask questions that can
evolve along with their investigations of social phenomena.
In this summative assessment, you will formulate a significant social scientific question
about human psychological development, personality, social interaction, social identity,
social classes, or the psychology of group behavior. Your formulation of this question should
be based on your reading from Perry and Perry, Contemporary Society, or from another
source. Examples of questions that you might examine include the following: How does the
mass media influence perceptions of gender? How can family size influence the process of
You will begin this assessment by formulating your social scientific question and explaining
why it is a significant one for analysis. Consider how life for individuals, groups, or society
would be affected if the answer to your question were known. Remember that the question
you ask must be something that can be examined methodically and systematically. It must
be a question that does not have an immediately evident answer.
Based on your reading of Contemporary Society, you will then provide a detailed discussion
of three specific research method problems that a social scientist would need to address in
order to answer your larger formulated question. A research method problem is a problem
(or subordinate question) that must be investigated in order to provide information
necessary to answer the overarching question that you have formulated. For example, if
you formulated the question “How does the mass media influence perceptions of gender?”
one research problem (i.e., subordinate question) might be, “What methods (e.g.,
interviews, opinion polls, etc.) should be used to gather data on individual reactions to
media representations of gender?”
In the second half of your assessment, you will consider the extent to which your
formulated question can or should be answered by applying the scientific method. Does the
scientific method provide a complete framework for investigating the three research
problems that you have identified? For information on the scientific method and the social
sciences, see pages 5–9 of Contemporary Society.
You will conclude with a well-reasoned response to the following question: To what extent
does a social scientific perspective rely on methods drawn from the physical and natural
A. Analyze a selected topic from a social scientific perspective by doing the following
(suggested length of 5–7 pages):
1. Explain the significance of a suitable question, which you have formulated, for social
2. Analyze three research problems (i.e., subordinate questions) that will help answer
the social scientific question that you have formulated.
a. Explain the social scientific analysis required for each of the three research
3. Consider the extent to which your chosen topic question can be examined by the
application of the scientific method by doing the following:
a. Discuss the scientific method as understood in the natural or physical sciences.
b. Compare the research methods required for your formulated question (from part
A2a) to the scientific method as understood in the natural or physical sciences
(from part A3a).
c. Discuss whether a social science perspective must rely on the scientific method in
the same way that natural or physical science would.
It must be in APA format
This is a pass or failpaper. I don't need an A I just need to pass.
|Due By (Pacific Time)||09/18/2013 12:00 am|
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