Objectivity in Social Sciences

10 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2014

Date Written: February 21, 2014

Abstract

Objectivity is the most cherished value of a scientific research. The essence of objectivity is to make a given research free from researcher’s biases. The bias can be caused by a variety of reasons and not all the reasons are always controllable by the researcher. This is true especially when the subject matter of study is human beings. For instance, we cannot check a theory on effect of riots over group decision making by creating riots. Naturally, we are bound to study riots only after they happened. Consequently, the cause-effect relationship is adulterated by extraneous variables. This makes the results of research not free from biases. However, we can strive for making our study as much objective as much possible while following the ethical and professional standards applicable on the given subject-matter. There is no doubt that natural sciences have higher degree of objectivity in comparison of social sciences. The difference between subject matter of both sciences ensures that this gap remains for all the future times. In fact, the differences between science and social sciences regarding degree of objectivity should be maintained. Otherwise, the importance of social sciences in our day to day life will wither away. However, attempts should be made to make social sciences as much objective as much possible while maintaining the difference "necessary" for realizing the very purpose of social sciences.

Keywords: objectivity, social science, natural science, bias

Suggested Citation

Pandey, Kritarth, Objectivity in Social Sciences (February 21, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2399299 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2399299

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