The Scientific Method and Human Behavior

TheScientific Method and Human Behavior

TheScientific Method and Human Behavior

Scienceis an important facet in the ever-changing globe. It has contributedto many inventions that result in considerable progress. The vitalityof science cannot be entirely comprehended especially in educationalmatters. Due to the broadness of science, this paper will focus onits meaning, particularly regarding its social aspects. Thescientific method is a key concept in this field. This is a body ofmechanisms for examining a phenomenon, getting newfound knowledge, orcorrecting an existing one, and integrating them. Therefore, thispaper will also discuss the main elements of the scientific method aswell as its goals. In addition to that, the paper will illustrate theextent to which social scientists comply with the scientific valuesin explaining human behavior and decisions. The paper will alsocontain the problems faced by social scientists while applying thisapproach to the study its phenomena [ CITATION Did12 l 1033 ].

Sciencehas several descriptions. It can be defined as a body of knowledge ordiscipline that applies the scientific method. It involvessystematically organizing knowledge of an individual subject. It canalso be defined as an intellectual or practical activity that studiesthe systematic behavior and structure of the natural and physicalworld via experiments and observation. It is a broad field thatincludes the examination of the social aspects surrounding humans.This knowledge utilizes the scientific understanding to confirm thetests. As earlier stated, the scientific method develops and teststheories on how observable events or facts can be related. As such,the key objectives of utilizing this approach include:

  1. Generalization of the observations as well as instituting theories to provide explanations and predictions on how the social globe operates.

  2. After that, the scientists predict and offer advice, for instance, the prediction of an earthquake.

Thesegoals are used to observe an aspect systematically, theorizing it andproviding an explanation of the particular hypothesis. The proceduresrelated to the practice make it a noble undertaking. Once a theory isderived, the scientific method is utilized to provide adequateknowledge about the same. A good example can be drawn from theprediction of earthquakes or tsunamis. The scientists come up with atheory and seek to substantiate the same through experiments. Theythen warn the populace. It results to mitigation of calamities. Inaddition to that, the method examines the earth movements andpredicts any future occurrences. The technique has enabled thedescription of the “ring of fire” where earthquakes are commonest[ CITATION Zam16 l 1033 ].

Humanbeings naturally try to make sense of this world. We seekexplanations of various things. For example, why huge stones hurtmore than light ones, why a brick house is much stronger than woodenones, etc. Apart from that, we attempt to seek for answers pertainingcertain behaviors. For instance, why some people drive in Mercedeswhile others use the bus. Are they richer? How did they acquire theirwealth? All these aspects are evident among human beings. Some of theexplanations are typically common sense. Some aspects can be entirelycomprehended without the consideration of common sense. In otherwords, the elements are typified by beliefs. Consequently, science isthe act of making sense about the world utilizing accounts orexplanations that seem valid and reasonable [ CITATION Che16 l 1033 ].

Thefour key elements of the scientific method include:

  1. Observation and subsequent description of a phenomenon. Observations can be done visually or through the use of scientific tools.

  2. Hypothesis formulation to provide an explanation of the phenomenon regarding mathematical relation or causal mechanism

  3. Testing the hypothesis which involves assessment of the outcomes of observations. Also, forecasting and observing a modern event that is guided by the hypothesis. At this stage, if the tests do not affirm the theory, then the process should be modified or rejected.

  4. This stage typically involves constant verifications. In other words, the results are continuously tested to derive an appropriate theory.

Thefocus of a scientific test has to be reproducible and observable.Observation can be achieved through the naked eye, voltmeter, andtelescope among other equipment necessary in identifying ananticipated phenomenon. For instance, the 1608 discovery of thetelescope led to the discovery of the moons of Jupiter throughGalileo. Later, several scientists affirmed the observations made byGalileo changing the field of astronomy. Conversely, otherobservations did not withstand the exams of objectivity such ascanals in Mars presented by Percival Lowell. Lowell stated that anetwork of canals could be seen in Mars likening this to intelligentlife within the planet. Other astronomers never affirmed thesenotions. They used much bigger telescopes while others journeyed toMars but the claims were never verified. This was a case where theobservations could not be independently verified or reproduced, andthe hypothesis about intelligent life was unjustified. In 1905,Lowell predicted the presence of the planet Pluto. It applied thegravitation theory. 25 years later, the planet Pluto was discovered[ CITATION Wil12 l 1033 ].

Theequipment utilized to make the scientific observation must be foundedon well-known scientific values. For instance, the telescope isfounded on the magnification of images. It can be confirmed that theimage viewed in the telescope corresponds to the particular object.Therefore, observations made via the telescope can be trusted.Another element of the scientific method is testing. The statedtheories must be testable. Theories that cannot be investigated orrather tested are not considered scientific. The testing criterionsof scientific ideologies are quite vast. In general, these fourcomponents typify the scientific method.

Therelation between science and social discipline is rather complex.Though at times it is not regarded as a science, it complies with thescientific principles to explain human behaviors. Firstly, whilescience is involved in doing research, social science follows similarscientific methodologies within their study. Secondly, scientistsseek to elucidate the observations or concepts they have an interestin. Similarly, social scientists seek to explain and forecastpeople’s behaviors while settling their disagreements and resolvingconflicts. In the third step, scientists always try to explain theconcepts by conducting tests within the laboratory. They generalizetheir interpretations and construct theories that simplify reality.As such, arguments must contain some postulations that describe thescope of application. Finally, the theory can be retested or refuted.Likewise, social science follows almost similar steps. Once theprediction of human behaviors is made, social scientists can comeacross numerous concepts such as the Marxist theory. Socialscientists also need to acquire practical information to affirmwhether the evidence can refute Karl Marx`s estimates. Evidently, thetwo aspects have similar phases. Hence, social science is scientific.

Socialscientists face numerous challenges when it comes to applying thescientific method. As elaborated earlier, the scientific method hasfour components that must be implemented. However, social scientistsface challenges when incorporating these elements. One of theobstacle entails personal bias. The human aspects being tested arenot constant but dependent on personal preference. In that regard,social scientists make their judgments based on dislikes, likes, orapprovals. Though the social scientists strive to use facts, they arecontinuously involved in a world that is full of values. Researchersmake their decisions based on gender, race, profession, nationbackground, political party, interest group, class, and family. Theseaspects are regularly reflected in the researchers’ views of thedata, hypotheses, test design, and interpretations. The researchercan influence the testable elements of social science. This is one ofthe most disturbing aspects of scientific, social science. It makesit hard for the field to employ the scientific method. However, itcan be limited by evaluative statements that do not rely on opinion.These evaluative sentiments can be linked with facts. For instance,life in Hong Kong is easy because the stress levels are low. Also,people in America are fat because they eat junk foods. Personal biascannot deter such sentiments. In other words, they are value free.

Anotherlimitation involves public attitudes. Ascertaining the social problemis hard due to the various causes. The respondents may have differentinformation that does not correlate with the study. As such, theymight not provide the appropriate information to assist in theresearch. In general, the participants’ knowledge of the particularresearch on human behavior might be limited and the perceptionssimplistic. This limitation is quite detrimental to the socialscientists who strive to establish findings on human behavior.

Constraintsand the design of social science study are also challenging. While ina laboratory, social scientists can manage typically all the elementsthat move to the temporary situation. However, realistically, many ofthese factors cannot be managed. It hence makes it difficult for asocial scientist to pinpoint the causes of the behaviors under study.Evidently, some of the aspects that are used in the experimentalstages of a study cannot be ascertained. In other words, they cannotbe realistically obtained. These three elements are the majordetrimental impacts barring social scientist from actually utilizingthe scientific method.


Theimportance of science cannot be entirely comprehended. It touches onseveral aspects that are vital to the human beings. Through science,innovation has become a standard feature in the current globe. As amatter of fact, most of the advancements in technology can be tracedto the positive adoption of the scientific method to conduct andaffirm results. Ever since innovation began, scientists have shownhigh predictions such as the discovery of the planets. The method isalso used to predict natural phenomena such as earthquakes henceprovide mitigation measures. In that regard, the social scientistalso tries to illustrate the human behaviors utilizing the scientificmethod. The procedures used in social science exemplify and affirmthe field is scientific. In other words, social science can beregarded as scientific. However, ascertaining all the scientificaspects is complex due to the challenges the field faces. Forinstance, most of the findings are based on personal bias. Also, thepractice is affected by the public attitudes. In addition to that,the research has limitations relating laboratory situations withreality.


Cheuk-yin, L. W. (2016). Social Sciences. Japan: ETPU Publishing Team.

Diderot. (2012). Social Science and Its Methods. 1-27.

Gorton, W. A. (2012). The Philosophy of Social Science. Retrieved from

Zamora, A. (2016). The Scientific Method. Retrieved from