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Main page » Dictionaries and Encyclopedias » Encyclopedia of Social Measurement

Encyclopedia of Social Measurement


In the Social sciences we use methodology to try to answer questions about how and why people behave as they do. Some types of behavior are very common or routine, while others happen rarely or only in certain situations. When you realize that every conceivable type of behavior is within the realm of possible subjects for us to study, you can begin to appreciate the scope of social science. Beyond identifying human activities and the boundaries in which they occur, social scientists also want to explain why behaviors happen. In looking for causes, social scientists pursue all dimensions of the social world. We look at personal traits of individuals, characteristics of interactions between people, and contextual features of the communities and cultures in which they live. We study people who lived in the past, try to improve the quality of life today, and anticipate what the future will hold. It is difficult to think of a topic that involves people for which a social scientist could not investigate.

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