What is the purpose of the Social Science 1A course?
To understand how social sciences depict/contribute to the understanding of social problems.
What is the definition of social science?
study of human beings and their social world (living with fellow humans)
What are the various social sciences?
anthropology, psychology, political science, economics, sociology, geography
What are the different ways of obtaining knowledge and answering questions?
- science - common sense - authority - tradition/religion - logic/reasoning
Columbia Accident (NASA)
The representative of NASA used common sense to describe the accident --> ignored that the foam is the cause of the accident. Physical culture (foam) vs. root cause (NASA culture - broken safety culture)
Who is Francis Bacon?
- Father of Modern Science (scientist) - Scientific Method - separated science from church - uses induction logic - anti-theorist
What are Bacon's doctrines of empiricism and induction?
Empiricism: scientific knowledge comes from observation with the sense - observations - data - INDUCTION --> conclusions - not logic/innate knowledge - can't study immaterial phenomena
How does induction work as a means to discover empirical laws?
observation --> theory
- get data and look for patterns
Why did Bacon criticize the use of hypotheses in science?
- theories are only guesses, and have tendency of bias
What did Bacon mean by "knowledge is power"?
- must use science to improve technology --> lead to a utopia - science can solve our problems --> utopia - gaining knowledge --> opportunity to improve ourselves
What is practical purpose of the social sciences for Bacon?
to form conclusions from observations
The 4 Idols of the Mind (faulty thinking that prevents scientific knowledge).
1) Idols of the Tribe --> human conditions 2) Idols of the Cave --> individual characteristics 3) Idols of the Market Place 4) Idols of the Theatre
Idols of the Tribe
- inherent errors - assume causes w/o evidence - make errors b/c of limitations of our sense
Idols of the Cave
- errors --> individual characteristics - knowledge is from experience, interests & observations - see thins with our closed mind
Idols of the Marketplace
- errors --> misuse of words - use words with ambiguous meanings - take things out of context
Idols of the Theatre
- logic used on something beyond reasoning - can't be explained by logic ex. trying to explain life after death.....UHHH
Why did Rene Descartes support the use of theory in science?
- theory: logical guess that predicts and explains - need theories to explain our observations - data + understanding
What analogy did Descartes use to indicate the importance of theory?
WATCH - can observe a watch for time - but need to look closer (inside) for its components
What is Auguste Comte's doctrine?
What is positivism (Comte)?
- objective, systematic, logical science based on observations - based on presumptions that we can apply methods used in Natural Sciences to study human behavior in society
According to Comte, what are the 3 stages of development that societies pass through?
1) Supernatural Stage - God, religion, etc. 2) Metaphysical Stage - unknown forces (karma, faith, superstitions) 3) Scientific (positive) Stage - accepts positivism, science reveals causes and effects, technology improves society, rejected by social sciences
What did Comte mean by the "religion of humanity"?
- primacy of emotion over intellect - memorial to his/her beloved
Who should be the members of the "religion of humanity?"
philosophers, working class, women
What did it cost Comte for promoting the "religion of humanity"?
cost his legacy because he left out science
What is the hierarchy of the natural sciences (Comte)?
REDUCTIONIST MODEL Sociology (Social physics) Biology Chemistry Physics Mathematics
What is Comte's rationale of having a hierarchy for the natural sciences?
- to quantify human behavior by reducing human behavior to other sciences
What analogy did Isaac Newton use to describe the world?
UNIVERSE is a machine composed of atoms operating according to fixed laws
How have the natural sciences aided the development of the social sciences?
Natural Sciences concepts in Social Sciences - gravity = affiliation - gene = meme - natural selection = Social Darwinism
What is the current logical hierarchy for the natural sciences?
Social Sciences Biology Chemistry Physics Mathematics
Why is it not possible to put he social sciences into a logical hierarchy?
Social Sciences overlap each other. And sometimes they overlap with some of the natural sciences.
Compared to the natural sciences, is the subject matter of the social sciences static or dynamic? What is the distinction
Social Sciences = dynamic Natural Sciences = static
DYNAMIC = constantly changing in soc sci, theories change over time as we learn more and have better technology; culture also changes STATIC = NEVER CHANGING
What is the difference between "explanation" and "understanding" in science? Do the social sciences use both principles?
EXPLANATION = asking how UNDERSTANDING = asking why
Soc Sci uses both!
Can Lamarckian view of evolution help explain any phenomenon in the social sciences?
Doctrine of Acquired Characteristics - "smartness" can be inherited and passed down to next generations
What is a meme?
a unit of intellectual or cultural information passed from one person (brain) to another (tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, fashion, ads, ways of making pots, etc.)
a piece of cultural info (beliefs, norms, behaviors, attitude) passed down to next generations (verbally/written)
PLANTED IN THE BRAIN
What is the function of a meme?
explains how culture changes so quickly =D
What did many leading Darwinists advocate in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?
Nazi Extermination Act
What do movements of infanticide, eugenics, and euthanasia represent?
Who was Ernst Haeckel?
He used Darwin's theory to declare that some people were superior to others; and that people with defects should be sterilized or die because it weakens society.
How did the views of Haeckel and others challenge the view that human life was to be protected and valued?
1) The individual is nothing; the species is everything. - no souls, no individual policies, no individual exceptions 2) Do not make the unequal equal. - criticize communism, Christianity, humanism which state everyone is created equally
Who founded logical positivism and what is it about?
- founded by the Vienna Circle - movement that holds that meaningful statements about the natural world are true only if verified by observation and experiment --> knowledge comes from science
Who founded operationalism and what is it?
- founded by Percy Bridgeman - have to state what is the measurement in terms of empirical observations
Who founded pragmatism and what is it?
- founded by William James - good theory is one that makes predictions (useful, accurate outcomes, good consequences)
What are the 3 characteristics of a scientific law?
1) describes an observation in nature 2) can be tested and probably disproved 3) will always remain a law (wouldn't change into a theory)
What is the research wheel?
data --> theory --> hypothesis --> experiment --> cycle (CYCLE) data --> theory = INDUCTION theory -- hypothesis = DEDUCTION
What are the necessary stages in planning an experiment?
1) topic 2) define term 3) research topic background 4) generate hypotheses 5) choose research design (need consultation) 6) analyze data 7) report results & conclusion --> publishing
What are the major research methods used in social sciences?
descriptive, relational/correlational, experimental, survey, observational study, case study, experiment, secondary data analysis
What are the major ethical rules for social sciences research?
1) voluntary participation 2) informed consent 3) anonymity 4) no harm 5) debriefing (talk to the participants)
What experiments started the interest in the ethics of social science research?
The Nazis - Germans did cruel experiments with humans - ex. throw them into water to see how long if would take them to die
What is Asch's experiment about?
- conformity experiment
What is Milgram's experiment about?
- obedience to authority - Goal: to show that Americans are different from the others
What is Zimbardo's experiment about?
- prison study - Goal: wanted to see people's behaviors in a specific context
What is Humphreys' experiment about?
- Tea Room Trade - Goal: tried to change stereotype of the idea that "homosexuals are part of the mainstream society"
Why is Hymphreys' studies unethical?
- illegal acts (lied to DMV to get people's addresses) - no one ever knew they were part of his research studies
Why is Milgram's studies unethical?
- might cause psychological problems
Why is Zimbardo's studies unethical?
- students forgot who they are - the research study became REALITY - psychological, physical, emotional harm
What is the Institutional Review Board (IRB)?
- get federal funds, has to look at every research with human subjects in terms of ethics
Who is Edward O. Wilson?
- founded Sociobiology - reductionist
What is sociobiology?
- belief that some of our human social behaviors is biologically based or inherited
What is consilience?
- use both social science and biology to provide the best explanation of human behavior
How as sociobiology greeted when Wilson first introduced it?
- rejected by sociology - accepted by psychology, anthropology, economics
Concepts from sociobiology
1) kin selection: help our relatives 2) reciprocal altruism: help people and expect them to help back 3) aggression 4) mating behavior: parents favor biological children over step children; men want healthy women to have their children
Aggression study by sociobiology
- biologically, a mechanism to reduce toxic buildup of stress hormones in the body - alternative explanations: 1) violence genes; runs in family 2) amygdala: responds to threat 3) testosterone: not good indicator 4) low serotonin levels 5) pre-frontal lo cortex: part of brain that impulse control
Aristotle = CIVIC MODEL
Human nature: social animals, friendship, cooperation, telos *Best form of gov't is a republic
Adam Smith = SOCIAL SYSTEM
Deterministic model * thinks that humans are in a balance in self-interest and competition * INVISIBLE HAND - self-interested actions of individuals leads prosperity to all Law of Accumulation & Law of Population
Thomas Hobbes = INSTRUMENTAL INDIVIDUALISM
Human nature: anti-competition; self-preservation, social contract, benign kingdom Virtue: prudence - accessing consequences of actions
Karl Marx = CONFLICT MODEL
- against capitalism - conflict will end with another conflict (violent revolution) - classless society (enslaved by community and alienated) Virtue: sympathy for higher class - keep them from oppressing workers
Emile Durkheim = CONSENSUS THEORY
- scientists are most advanced w/ technology - actions of individuals are exposed by rules by the society; need to conform to soceity otherwise they'll suffer - studied suicidal rates
Max Weber = ACTION THEORY
- human behavior = goal-orientated - individuals shape society - supports capitalism - against compassion (care for others), people help themselves
Alfred Schutz = PHENOMENOLOGICAL THEORY
- somethings have to be experienced; can't convey an exp to someone who hasn't experienced it - understand society by understanding experiences from society's individuals
What is the human nature according to Aristotle?
social animals friendship, cooperation, telos, virtue
What is the human nature according to Hobbes?
anti-competition, competition, self-preservation, virtue, benign kingdom, social contract
What is the human nature according to Smith?
naturally greedy and selfish and competitive; primary goal is getting approval and avoiding disapproval; humans are in a balance in self-interest and competition
What is the human nature according to Marx?
humans are enslaved by the community and alienated from the society
What is the virtue for Aristotle?
What is the virtue of Hobbes?
prudence = accessing consequences of actions
What is the virtue of Smith?
How can you tell the nature of a society according to Weber?
4 action patterns 1) goal rational 2) value rational 3) emotional action 4) traditional behaviors
What is ANOMIE?
sense alienation when group doesn't include you; people lose sense of belonging to a group
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