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phd thesis social sciences

Much about the human experience- our thoughts feelings emotions etc are not directly observable. This means in studying people we much operationalize non-observable experiences into observable phenomenon that we can see and measure.

phd thesis social sciences

However there are limitations to this. Take for example the pain measure used in most hospitals. Patients are asked to rate their pain on a scale of 1 no pain at all to 10 the most unbearable pain you can imagine. This is a standard tool of diagnosis. However there is a level of subjectivity involved here.

Thinking about thesis structure in social sciences

A person that has a high pain tolerance may have just as severe symptoms but rate their pain lower than someone with a high pain tolerance. In most social science research we attempt to find some way to observe and categorize subjective experiences but unlike the physical sciences our metric is not predictable- culture, language, age, gender, sex, temperament and a variety of other social factors further contribute to variability that makes interpreting subjective human behavior difficult.

Observation is impacted by the observer. To go back to our example above- a patients recording of their pain on a scale is subjective however how their pain scale is interpreted by the doctor or nurse is also subjective.

Social Science MPhil/PhD

A patient may record their pain as a 6 or 7 but the nurse or doctor may have a great deal of experience with this particular illness and injury- perhaps they have even had it themselves. If their own pain was very severe they may believe the patient is in more pain than they are reporting.

If their experience was mild they may believe the patient is overstating their pain. Well written essay buy use social research methods to give us a structure in our research with rules that ensure as much objectivity as possible but is is enough? Discuss the problems of subjectivity in social science research. What are the limitations to research methods?

Briefly explain what the following concepts are and why they are important for social science research Paradigms Concepts Constructs Theory Research design how is a research design different from a research method? Last week you chose a topic and drafted some possible questions about your topic List some concepts that relate to your research question how can you operationalize these concepts?

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phd thesis social sciences

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Thinking about thesis structure in social sciences

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