Difference Between Social Research and Scientific Research with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation
Social Research vs Scientific Research
Both areas of research, social and scientific, are crucial to understand social and natural phenomena and generate new knowledge; however, there are differences between social research and scientific research in many respects. The purpose of an investigation is to generate new knowledge. Scientists conduct research on the physical aspects of the world, while social scientists conduct research to analyze the social behavior of human beings. In both cases, scientists use a variety of methods to carry out their work, and these methods vary depending on the research. Social scientists use social research and this could be qualitative or quantitative or both. Scientific research is used in natural sciences and the methods are mostly quantitative. However, both areas of research are important for understanding natural and social phenomena. Let’s see the terms in detail.
What is social research?
Social research is used to investigate the behavior of human beings in social life. Lately, social science research methods developed to be more objective and scientific. As mentioned earlier, social research is qualitative or quantitative or both. The qualitative approach can be seen in participant observation, communication with research participants, etc. This approach is related to quality. The quantitative approach is based on statistical data and the social phenomenon is analyzed through accounting tests. This is related to quantity. At present, most social researchers use these two methods in their findings and the field of research is moving towards objectivity. The most difficult thing about social research is that sometimes the personal feelings of the researcher can be involved in the findings and the research can be subjective and biased. However, with the new research methodologies now the situation has changed. The findings are more or less objective in many social investigations.
In addition, social research delves into human nature and analyzes social phenomena. However, no social scientist can look at the entire world population to reach a certain conclusion. As a result, he / she can take a sample from the population and investigate the data and then they can form a general theory based on that data. On the other hand, some social scientists use participant observation as a research method. Here the researcher enters a particular community and becomes a member of it and participates in the activities of the community while observing the residents. People in the community do not know that they are being watched because then their spontaneous behavior patterns may change. The researcher can spend a long period there and collect the findings and then analyze them and form a theory. Social research is a difficult subject because no one can predict human behavior. However, social research is a well developed area and we have been able to understand many things related to human behavior and the society we live in due to social research.
What is scientific research?
Scientific research is related to natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, etc. Also in scientific research, scientists try to generate new knowledge. Here, the researcher investigates the phenomenon by using empirical and measurable techniques. Scientific studies are mostly accurate and objective. Scientific investigations follow a measurable analytical method and the specialty is that anyone can repeat the same investigation at any time. Also, if there are some modifications, the scientist can change one or two variables and obtain the preferred result. Scientific investigation generally begins with a hypothesis and then variables are tested to verify whether the hypothesis is true or false. Yes it’s correct, then the hypothesis can be turned into a theory and, if it is shown to be false, it can be dropped. When it comes to the natural sciences, it is easy to make predictions and proofs unlike the social sciences. Natural phenomena are less likely to change over time and theories remain constant for a long time.
What is the difference between social research and scientific research?
When we take both social and scientific investigations, we can see that both subject areas try to be more objective in order to get more accurate results. Furthermore, when conducting the investigation, the investigator must be impartial and must follow a systematic and transparent path to obtain the desired result.
• If we look at the differences, we see that social research is difficult to repeat because variables can change over time, while scientific research can be repeated many times if necessary.
• Furthermore, the results of social research are subject to change at any time with the change of the variables considered, while the result of scientific research lasts longer.
• In addition, the social researcher is more likely to feel biased towards the subject area, but in scientific research this opportunity is very low.
• Social research takes place within a society and scientific research takes place in a laboratory.
However, both areas of research are crucial to understand social and natural phenomena and are also important to generate new knowledge in the world.