FINAL ASSESSMENT HUMAN SCIENCES:

Find a real world situation that illustrates one of the “problems” of the human sciences as discussed in class. This can be in the form of a magazine article, news story, film (documentary or narrative) or a recent event.

  • Summarize the example.
  • Identify the “problems” as we have tried to identify in class (see chart below)
  • Present counter-claims or a defense of these weaknesses.
  • Formulate at least one Knowledge Issue from the example.

You may wish to refer to the following chart:


Observation
  1. We cannot directly observe other people’s minds.
  2. Questionnaires may be biased or misleading.
  3. Observing people may affect the way they behave.
Measurement
4. Social phenomena are difficult to measure.
Hypothesis
5. The act of prediction may affect the behavior predicted.
Experiments
  1. Human sciences study complex social situations in which it is difficult to run controlled experiments.
  2. Various moral considerations limit our willingness to experiment.
Laws
  1. Human sciences are not very good at predicting things.
  2. Human sciences usually uncover trends rather than laws.
10. Laws in the Human Sciences are probabilistic in nature.



The following resources may help although you may find your own examples:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/
http://www.newscientist.com/
http://www.bbc.com/
http://www.nytimes.com/
http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/
http://www.ted.com/talks
FRONTLINE: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/view/



THE LIBRARY ALSO HAS MANY PERIODICALS THAT YOU CAN USE.


TEMPLATE FOR RESPONSE: