M8A1 Project #7
Dawn C. Murrain
Ethical Responsibilities in Social Science Research
Social Science Capstone
Instructor Adam McGlynn
April 20, 2014
Ethical Responsibilities of Social Science Research
Often, scientists are tasked with the role of providing evidence to support theories or to predict future outcomes based on scientific research. This methods or research are usually accepted in natural sciences like chemistry and physics. This is because unlike social science, they usually use formulas, well laid out structures and methods (Guttin, 2012). However, when it comes to social science, researchers usually work using theories by formulating hypothesis, and researching to prove or disapprove the theories. When doing this, social science researchers usually become advocates in certain circumstances. This paper highlights some of the pros and cons of scientists becoming advocates, and gives examples of when social scientists become advocates and situations where they observe objectivity.
Becoming advocates for social scientists have both benefits and drawbacks. On the good side, Gutting (2012) says that it can supplement general knowledge, critical intensity, practical experience and good sense. Gutting also says that scientists know where a certain piece of work falls in their relevant discipline. This allows them to be good advocates. Taking sides also allows social scientists to help curb harmful behaviors by conducting research on their harmful effects and discouraging the behaviors with facts. Examples are effects of drugs and substance abuse, risky sexual behaviors etc.
On the other hand, the cons of becoming an advocate are: (1) Overgeneralization- this happens when resear...
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...observe and report facts as given from both sides without interfering with any data. This is because people may base their decision to join a certain religion from the findings, only to be misguided by lack of objectivity by the researcher.
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Gutting, G. (2012). How reliable are the social sciences. Retrieved from http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/how-reliable-are-the-social-sciences/ Lecture notes. (2014). Module notes: concepts concerning reliable social science.
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