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The Future of Social Science

This post, save for the concluding sentence, is an excerpt from the post The Cognitive Theory of Politics.

Academic social science is currently mired in a process and approach that narrows, rather than widens, its thinking. Here’s a quote from a prominent academic social scientist:

My field is not very scholarly. We are focused on experiments and methods. We are not even scholarly about the experiments and methods used 30 years ago; we are too caught up in the present

This is what I came to see when I did a post doc at Chicago, in cultural psych; the anthropologists lived in a world of books and ideas. The psychologists lived in relatively recent journal articles.

The good news is there are signs a new trend might be emerging which, if it continues, I predict, will prove The Cognitive Theory of Politics to be true.

More and more social scientists are realizing, as Rebecca Sear observed in her plenary at #HBES2017, that Interdisciplinary research is the future of social science. In order to truly understand the workings of the human mind at the individual and group level, it is necessary to collect evidence from multiple disciplines like evolutionary behavioral sciences, genetics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, anthropology, history, sociology, economics, and demographics, to name a few.

Gad Saad, in this video, describes the process of interdisciplinary social science research as a “Nomological Network of Cumulative Evidence

The paper Evaluating Evidence of Psychological Adaptation by David P. Schmitt and June J. Pilcher describes in detail the process depicted in this graphic, also from the paper:

If social science does indeed move in this direction then I believe a deeper, richer, more complete, and more accurate understanding OF The Social Animal (humans) BY the social animal will emerge.


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