The Differences of Social Science from Natural Science and Humanities

Social science is different from natural science and humanities because its primary interest lies in predicting and explaining human behavior. Natural science, on the other hand, aims to predict all natural phenomena and its studies are based on experimentally controlled condition of material entities. Humanism seeks to understand “human reactions to events and the meanings humans impose on experience as a function of culture, historical era, and life history.” (Kagan, 2009, p. 4)

The use of the scientific method unites these three fields of study although it is more commonly used in the social sciences and natural sciences than in humanism. The scientific method is a systematic and logical approach in acquiring and explaining knowledge. It involves a step-by-step procedure of identifying the problem, formulating a hypothesis and testing this hypothesis by gathering and analyzing relevant data. This method requires critical thinking skills in solving problems. The scientific method is very important in the field of social science since it is the instrument by which issues and problems are examined and recommendations for policy-making are offered depending on the findings of the study conducted.