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Social Research vs. Scientific Research: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 14, 2024
Social research explores human society and relationships, while scientific research focuses on empirical, systematic study of the natural world.

Key Differences

Social research primarily investigates human society, behaviors, and cultural norms, using methodologies like surveys and ethnography. Conversely, scientific research delves into natural sciences, employing rigorous, experimental methods to study phenomena in disciplines like physics and biology.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024
Social research often adopts qualitative methods to understand social dynamics, motivations, and perspectives, emphasizing subjective interpretations. In contrast, scientific research predominantly relies on quantitative approaches, emphasizing objectivity and measurement to test hypotheses in areas like chemistry and astronomy.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024
Social research is typically interpretive, aiming to understand the complexity of human experiences and social structures. On the other hand, scientific research seeks to establish universal laws and theories through controlled experiments and observations in fields like ecology and genetics.
Huma Saeed
Jan 14, 2024
In social research, data collection methods include interviews, focus groups, and participant observation, prioritizing human experiences and societal contexts. Scientific research, however, often involves laboratory experiments, field observations, and mathematical modeling, focusing on empirical data and reproducibility.
Janet White
Jan 14, 2024
Social research is integral in fields like sociology, anthropology, and political science, shaping social policies and understanding. Whereas, scientific research underpins technological advancements and theoretical understanding in areas such as physics, chemistry, and biology.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Primary Focus

Human society and interactions
Natural world and physical phenomena
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Methodology

Qualitative, interpretive methods
Quantitative, empirical methods
Huma Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Objective

Understanding human behavior and culture
Establishing universal laws and theories
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Data Collection

Interviews, surveys, ethnography
Experiments, observations, modeling
Aimie Carlson
Jan 14, 2024

Key Disciplines

Sociology, anthropology, political science
Physics, biology, chemistry
Harlon Moss
Jan 14, 2024
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Social Research and Scientific Research Definitions

Social Research

Social research interprets social interactions and structures.
Social research showed how social media impacts youth self-esteem.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Scientific Research

It involves systematic experimentation and observation.
Scientific research in genetics paved the way for gene editing techniques.
Huma Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Social Research

It employs methods like surveys and ethnography.
A social research project used surveys to gauge public opinion on climate change.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Scientific Research

Scientific research underpins technological advancements.
Scientific research was crucial in creating the latest smartphone technology.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 22, 2023

Social Research

It involves qualitative analysis of social phenomena.
Through social research, anthropologists decoded the rituals of an indigenous tribe.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Scientific Research

Scientific research investigates natural and physical phenomena.
Scientific research led to the discovery of a new planet's orbit.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Social Research

Social research studies human societies and behaviors.
Social research on voting patterns revealed cultural influences on political choices.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Scientific Research

Scientific research seeks to establish empirical evidence.
Through scientific research, physicists confirmed the existence of gravitational waves.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Social Research

Social research contributes to societal policy making.
Social research influenced new policies in urban housing development.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 22, 2023

Scientific Research

It often uses quantitative methods and laboratory testing.
Scientific research in chemistry developed a new synthetic polymer.
Harlon Moss
Dec 22, 2023

FAQs

What methods are used in social research?

Methods include surveys, interviews, and participant observation.
Huma Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

What are common methods in scientific research?

Experiments, observations, and modeling are typical.
Janet White
Jan 14, 2024

What is scientific research?

It's the systematic study of the natural world through empirical methods.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

How does social research differ from scientific research?

Social research focuses on human societies, while scientific research focuses on natural phenomena.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Is scientific research always conducted in a lab?

Not always; it can also include fieldwork and theoretical research.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

What's a typical scientific research topic?

Investigating new treatments for diseases in a lab setting.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

What is social research?

It's the study of societies, cultural norms, and human behaviors.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Can social research be quantitative?

Yes, it can use quantitative methods like surveys and statistics.
Harlon Moss
Jan 14, 2024

Can social research influence policy?

Yes, it often informs and shapes public policy.
Janet White
Jan 14, 2024

What role does data play in scientific research?

Data is crucial for testing hypotheses and drawing conclusions.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 14, 2024

What skills are important for social researchers?

Skills like qualitative analysis, interviewing, and empathy.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

What's an example of a topic in social research?

Examining the impact of social media on mental health.
Harlon Moss
Jan 14, 2024

How is objectivity maintained in scientific research?

Through controlled experiments and peer review.
Janet White
Jan 14, 2024

How do ethics play a role in social research?

Ethics are key in ensuring participant consent and confidentiality.
Janet White
Jan 14, 2024

What skills are vital for scientific researchers?

Skills in experimentation, quantitative analysis, and critical thinking.
Janet White
Jan 14, 2024

Is collaboration common in scientific research?

Yes, especially in large-scale or interdisciplinary projects.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 14, 2024

Are the results of social research subjective?

They can be, due to the interpretive nature of social phenomena.
Harlon Moss
Jan 14, 2024

What impact does social research have on society?

It helps understand and improve societal structures and relationships.
Harlon Moss
Jan 14, 2024

Are there ethical considerations in scientific research?

Yes, particularly regarding environmental impact and human safety.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 14, 2024

Can social research be interdisciplinary?

Absolutely, it often overlaps with psychology, economics, etc.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 14, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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