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B public acceptance while most americans feel that

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B. Public Acceptance While most Americans feel that they know little about chemistry or biology, almost every American feels that she "knows a lot" about politics, business and economics, individual and social problems. While the public tends to defer to natural scientists, they trust their intuition and core beliefs when dealing with the social sciences so that there is less respect for the social scientist. C. Controversial Questions Social science deals with a variety of difficult and contentious problems. In addition, most people intuitively feel strongly about how these problems should be solved and see little need for social science research. Examples might include: Are certain races genetically inferior? What is the best way to move people from welfare to employment? How can drug use be reduced? Does capital punishment reduce violent crime? What can be done to reduce divorce? To what degree has information technology increased productivity? 9
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Power, Authority, and Exchange – ISS 225 Intro. Social Science Should we permit gay marriages? Social problems are complex, involve many difficult to measure variables, and may involve rapid change. Research may be limited to small samples and a relatively few variables. Often, the research report is not easily understood by lay people and may contain few conclusions or recommendations that can easily be implemented by government or other organizations. D. Ethical Problems As you might imagine in a research field involving human subjects, there are a variety of ethical problems for social science researchers. Today, government regulations insure that most not-for-profit research is done according to strict guidelines with the fully informed consent of the subjects. That has not always been the case. At least a few earlier social science research projects have taken advantage of subjects. Because of fear of behavior modification, there is still some popular fear of social science research involving psychology. Many people are also fearful that data gathered by researchers will be used to invade privacy or to support inappropriate ends. Unscrupulous researchers do exist. Remember the scene in “Ghostbusters” when Peter Venkman (Bill Murray as a psychologist) gives a memory test to a beautiful girl and a nerdy guy! Watch the scene here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn7- As more academic research is funded by corporations, the researcher may be limited in what can be shared with others. The sponsor decides what is to be studied, how it will be studied, and who will know the results. Given the declining governmental funding for research and limited internal funding, the university research agenda may be set by large multi-national corporations. Social science research can always come up with the results that the sponsor wants to hear, fudge or manipulate the data. E. Liberal Bias
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B Public Acceptance While most Americans feel that they...

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