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The Social Sciences

Unit 1: The Social Sciences Part 1

TermDefinition
Social Science The scientific discipline involving the organized study of people and their activities and relationships; aims to understand human society, culture, actions, attitudes, and behaviour; uses a research inquiry model.
The Enlightenment An era from the 1650s to the 1780s in which the cultural and intellectual forces in Western Europe emphasized reason, rationality,analysis, and individualism. Enlightenment thinking opposed superstition and the Church.
Anthropology The scientific study of humans including their origins, behaviour, and physical, social, and cultural development.
Sociology The systematic study of human social life, groups, and societies.
Psychology The scientific study of the human mind, mental states,and human behaviour.
Social Science Inquiry Method A method of inquiry that involves: purpose, research, hypothesis, experiment, analysis, and conclusion.
Case Study A process of research in which detailed consideration is given to the development of a particular person,group, or situation over time.
Interview A dialogue between a questioner and a subject to obtain information. Interviews can be unstructured, semi-structured,and structured.
Sample Survey A questionnaire designed to obtain information about the thoughts and behaviours of a limited number of people who represent a larger group.
Historical Analysis Interpretation and understanding of various historical events, documents,and processes.
Naturalistic Observation Research through observation and participation in a group’s activities.
Experiment A controlled environment where tests are conducted to determine how one factor is related to another. Experiments are key to uncovering a causal relationship between two variables.
Genie Wiley A feral child who was the victim of extraordinarily severe abuse, neglect, and social isolation. Genie's case provided an opportunity to study aspects of human development.
Jane Goodall The world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 55 year study of the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania.
Tuskegee Syphilis Study Examined the natural progression of untreated syphilis in African American men; men were given free medical care and meals for study participation; men were not told they were infected and thus infected family members.
Ethics A way of understanding what is "right" and "wrong".
Internal Review Board A group of educated people who consider the ethics involved in any study involving human participants.
Informed Consent A piece of paper that is signed by participants that explains everything that will happen in a study and confirms that participants understand.
Respect for Persons Autonomy (dignity and informed consent). Protection for vulnerable persons (those whose decision making is impaired due to social or physical factors).
Beneficence Protect the social, physical, and mental well-being of participants. Minimize risks and maximize benefits.
Justice Equitable recruitment of research participants. Community benefit.
Debriefing The post-experimental explanation of a study including its purpose and any deceptions to participants.
Confidentiality Keeping participant information private.Individual participants should not be identified through any kind of process of elimination.
Anonymity Participating in a study without providing identifying information.
Harlow Monkey Experiment (1971) (Surrogate Mother) Harry Harlow separated infant rhesus monkeys from their mothers. He offered them surrogate mothers. Infants preferred cloth mothers until they were hungry and then went to wire ones. Monkeys demonstrated psychotic behaviour.
Little Albert (1920) A nine-month-old baby that was conditioned to fear anything white and furry.
Milgram Obedience Study (1974) An experiment on obedience where a "volunteer" teacher was told to provide shocks in increasing increments to a "student" if they got a wrong answer. About 68% shocked students up to 450 volts.
David Reimer (1965-2004) A botched circumcision resulted in David Reimer's penis being burned off. Dr. Money claimed he could turn David into a female. David faced deep psychological issues and committed suicide.
Colonialism Conquering or settling occupied or unoccupied territory.
Imperialism The dominance of one political community over another political community. The weaker political community is influenced to serve the dominant power's interests.
Scientific Revolution The explosion of modern science that took place throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. The Scientific Revolution helped erode superstition and popularized a rational, logical, outlook, on life.
Reason Enlightenment thinkers denounced supernatural occurrences such as superstition.
Overconfidence Our tendency to believe we know more than we do; it inhibits critical thinking.
Empirical Approach Basing decisions or conclusions on observable evidence. Under controlled conditions, researchers collect evidence that may justify a cause-effect conclusion.
Critical Thinking A questioning attitude regarding assumptions and hidden values. It evaluates evidence and assesses conclusions.
Primary Research Involves the collection of original data on a specific topic to test a hypothesis. It can be obtained in a number of ways: through questionnaires, observations, experiments, interviews.
Secondary Research A summary or collection of existing data.
Quantitative Methods Methods that allow the researcher to gather data that can be analyzed to describe, explain, and predict patterns or trends in behaviour. The results can be analyzed using statistics to make generalizations.
Qualitative Methods Those that are used to gather more detailed information from individuals. They help the researcher to understand behaviour.
Descriptive Methods Aim to gather data to present a complete picture of a given subject. The goal of descriptive research is to portray what already exists in a population.
Correlational Studies Try to figure out the relationship between two or more variables like behaviour age, gender, etc.
Mishel's Marshmallow Experiment A study of delayed gratification. A child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited. Children who were able to wait longer had better life outcomes.
Created by: satec aps
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