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[phys.org] Call for better social science research transparency - Page 3

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by un-midas touch View Post

Mostly because a lot of it really isn't transparent, especially studies that get mainstream attention.

Yeah. Anyone or any group with a "title" can through opinions around to grab attention, especially if media channels want to push their own agenda through them.

Any short of rational skepticism is a good think to be promoted to the masses, instead of false "faith" in arbitrary "authorities" on any given subject.
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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by serp777 View Post

"journal Science, an interdisciplinary group is calling on scholars, funders, journal editors and reviewers to adopt more stringent and transparent standards to give social science research more credibility, substance and impact."

Wow that's so useful.
/sarcasm

How is this news? Some random useless interdisciplinary group says that science should be transparent. Thanks for that obvious bit of obviousness from the hindsight journal of obviousness.

Basically, why do I care about journal Science calling on people to do things that they know they should already do? Why is this relevant or substantial enough to be considered news?

social science is not the same as the hard sciences. also, especially with the rise of post-modernism and the growth of "Studies" departments, it's become unclear what some departments actually *do* anymore. which might be related to the fall in humanities enrollment (*a* factor, not the only one).
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectblade View Post

social science is not the same as the hard sciences. also, especially with the rise of post-modernism and the growth of "Studies" departments, it's become unclear what some departments actually *do* anymore. which might be related to the fall in humanities enrollment (*a* factor, not the only one).

social science isn't really a science at all imo. Science is supposed to be testable and provable right?

I'm glad humanities isn't enrolling lots of students these days, how useful is political science, a psychologist or anthropologist in this world?
they never find a job doing that, they always end up teaching or finding a job doing something else

the usa has a bad enough rep for low quality colleges in respect to the rest of the globe, we need more incentives to teach computer science, physics, and chemistry than we need anything to do with social science imo...


all i learned in law & ethics was the same crap I learned in elementary... dont lie, dont cheat, dont steal, etc.
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post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectblade View Post

Can we also get rid of all the "Studies" departments while we're at it. The social sciences should be tied to historical analysis and hard data. Not a bunch of emoting and "creative writing" ("creative" being a very generous term here)

Too much randomness in human nature and it varies over time. Good luck buddy. You'd need around 2000 years worth of data to really capture all those patterns and most of them are non-linear. Try explaining an Artificial Neural Network's results to a politician or business leader...

I think the solution would be to require humanities and social science majors to take a year of RIGOROUS applied statistics(with the emphasis being projects) and one term of numerical analysis (also project oriented) and one term of programming - preferably with the coding first. They can still maintain a focus on their qualitative garble, but they should know enough to not be scared when someone mentions doing analysis on a poisson process or using spatial analysis to assess migration patterns or sociological shifts. As it stands, the typical social science undergrad fails to understand the notion of looking at things on balance.
Most of the humanities majors I've met are myopic.

It's fine to study something "worthless", but it should be an academic institution's responsibility to give people the proper tools to do so. Tools shouldn't really vary much by institution. Already there is the beginning of a convergence of methods across fields. For what it's worth, I think most of the fields ARE VERY useful, particularly psychology and sociology. It's the people who TAKE those fields who are worthless as human beings because they never apply themselves so that they can put it to use. Imagine a sociologist and psychologist team which figures out how to improve worker productivity by 20% - most people don't give themselves the tools to do that and you end up with engineers who switched into management consulting attempting to cover that with less than impressive results.

Regards,
A UC Social Science graduate(Quantitative Economics) who minored in Statistics.
Edited by xlink - 1/8/14 at 5:36pm
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post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMills View Post

social science isn't really a science at all imo. Science is supposed to be testable and provable right?

You can't prove things in science, you can only disprove things. If you go by Karl Popper's definition of what constitutes a scientific explanation/hypothesis, the explanation put forward must be falsifiable (that is, someone needs to be able to think of an experimental method that could disprove it.)

It should be noted that not everyone agrees with Popper's definition of what is and isn't scientific, but I personally have yet to hear a better criterion put forward.
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post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiOfPie View Post

You can't prove things in science, you can only disprove things. If you go by Karl Popper's definition of what constitutes a scientific explanation/hypothesis, the explanation put forward must be falsifiable (that is, someone needs to be able to think of an experimental method that could disprove it.)

It should be noted that not everyone agrees with Popper's definition of what is and isn't scientific, but I personally have yet to hear a better criterion put forward.

What do you mean you can't prove things in science? Who cares about karl popper's blatantly ridiculous custom definition? I mean, a scientific theory that is fundamentally correct cannot be falsifiable since it is true, which is an obvious tautology that blatantly contradicts the notion of falsifiability determining what constitutes a scientific explanation/hypothesis. A better more general definition is that science is the exploration and analysis of the evidence from experiment or proof.

Check this out
Assumptions where n is an integer
An even number = 2*n
An odd number = 2*n+1

Proof
An odd number + an even number = 2*n + 2*n + 1 = 4*n + 1 = 2*(2*n) + 1
Therefore it is proved that an odd number plus an even number is an odd number since two times any integer + 1 has to be odd.

Therefore this shows that things can be proved scientifically and with certainty given specific assumptions and definitions which have also been proved
Edited by serp777 - 1/8/14 at 5:29pm
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post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by serp777 View Post

What do you mean you can't prove things in science? Who cares about karl popper's blatantly ridiculous custom definition? I mean, a scientific theory that is fundamentally correct cannot be falsifiable since it is true, which is an obvious tautology that blatantly contradicts the notion of falsifiability determining what constitutes a scientific explanation/hypothesis. A better more general definition is that science is the exploration and analysis of the evidence from experiment or proof.

Check this out
Assumptions where n is an integer
An even number = 2*n
An odd number = 2*n+1

Proof
An odd number + an even number = 2*n + 2*n + 1 = 4*n + 1 = 2*(2*n) + 1
Therefore it is proved that an odd number plus an even number is an odd number since two times any integer + 1 has to be odd.

Therefore this shows that things can be proved scientifically and with certainty given specific assumptions and definitions which have also been proved

The conclusion sounded off to me, so I went and ran this by a friend who's a bit better at logic than I am.

1) You're trying to disprove Popper's definition of scientific explanation by proposing a definition of science. These are two different things.
2) Theory A is not falsifiable because it's true =! there is no method which would prove Theory A false if Theory A was actually false (just because an experimental method could disprove something doesn't mean it inevitably will.)
3) Your math proof is beside the point; the conclusion doesn't follow the premise.
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post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiOfPie View Post

The conclusion sounded off to me, so I went and ran this by a friend who's a bit better at logic than I am.

1) You're trying to disprove Popper's definition of scientific explanation by proposing a definition of science. These are two different things.
2) Theory A is not falsifiable because it's true =! there is no method which would prove Theory A false if Theory A was actually false (just because an experimental method could disprove something doesn't mean it inevitably will.)
3) Your math proof is beside the point; the conclusion doesn't follow the premise.

1. I'm not trying disprove any definition, it's just that his definition isn't good (or thorough enough) just because of an argument from authority, which was the central point of that statement, unless you provide additional arguments that support your claims. I don't have to disprove anything, you have to prove why it's any good. i gave a reasonable explanation of why it wasn't particularly good and that it made some fundamental assumptions.

2. How can you make a proposition like that, that uses the same boolean object (Theory A), which is both true and false at the same time in the same proposition? If a theory is true, then there is no method that would prove it false and as a result, the theory cannot be falsifiable. Theory A cannot be proposed to be true on the left hand side of the equation, and the proposed to be actually false on the right hand side. If this is what your friend told you was logical, then he/she was sadly mistaken.

You can't say, "oh, on the left hand side of the equation X = 1, but on the right hand side of the equation, x = 0"
Otherwise you're just saying X != X which is illogical


Another logical flaw is that the experimental method can only disprove things. Ask your friend if he/she can prove logically that science is only falsifiable rather than verifiable. That'll be a challenging one. If a scientist makes a prediction, and the evidence of reality matches his/her prediction, then evidence verifies a scientific explanation (not falsifies). With enough evidence, you can prove something to be extremely likely, which is then accepted as true as something like evolution, or gravity.


3. In what way does the conclusion not follow the premise? I will simply say the conclusion follows the premise
Edited by serp777 - 1/8/14 at 11:50pm
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post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
No in science you don't prove things you predict them.
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post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by un-midas touch View Post

No in science you don't prove things you predict them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by serp777 View Post

What do you mean you can't prove things in science? Who cares about karl popper's blatantly ridiculous custom definition? I mean, a scientific theory that is fundamentally correct cannot be falsifiable since it is true, which is an obvious tautology that blatantly contradicts the notion of falsifiability determining what constitutes a scientific explanation/hypothesis. A better more general definition is that science is the exploration and analysis of the evidence from experiment or proof.

Check this out
Assumptions where n is an integer
An even number = 2*n
An odd number = 2*n+1

Proof
An odd number + an even number = 2*n + 2*n + 1 = 4*n + 1 = 2*(2*n) + 1
Therefore it is proved that an odd number plus an even number is an odd number since two times any integer + 1 has to be odd.

Therefore this shows that things can be proved scientifically and with certainty given specific assumptions and definitions which have also been proved

Depends on the area in science.

I would argue that the overall goal of academic research is to increase the scope of knowledge which exists relative to the degree of uncertainty about it from a probabilistic standpoint.

If you find a cure for cancer but don't understand its mechanism, it's still worth publishing. The important part is to footnote any uncertainties.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Technology and Science News › [phys.org] Call for better social science research transparency