Theories In The Human Sciences And Natural Sciences

1454 words - 6 pages

The theories which have been developed in the natural sciences and the human sciences, more so than the other areas of knowledge, are generally accepted by people to be convincing and true. When analyzing why these theories are convincing, it is necessary to also consider the methods of verifying scientific theories. How do we verify that scientific theories are justified and accurate? This knowledge issue is central in our understanding of why theories in natural and human sciences are convincing. In the science areas of knowledge, hypotheses proposed by experts are testable. Hence, studies and experiments can be conducted which therefore produce data and evidence. It is the fact that ...view middle of the document...

However, a counterclaim is that the majority of people rely on language as the main way of knowing scientific theories. People must accept the resulting theories from scientific studies based on the sense perception and reason of others, specifically the scientists who conduct the experiments. From the perspective of scientists or experts in the natural sciences field, the results of experiments can be clearly observed and witnessed for themselves. This means that natural scientists most heavily rely on their own sense perception and reason. However from the perspective of a non-scientist, the arguments made and theories proposed must be believed as true since non-scientists cannot conduct the experiments themselves. They must rely instead on the results communicated to them by scientists, making the primary way of knowing for non-scientists language. This is a limitation in our ability to verify theories in natural science and accept them as convincing.
The area of human sciences also has theories which are based in sense perception and reason. In my IB Psychology course, we learned about many different theories which were supported by the evidence from various studies conducted throughout history. One example of a theory we learned was classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is the process of pairing a neutral stimulus, or a stimulus which does not generally produce a reaction or response, with an unconditioned stimulus, which is a stimulus which normally evokes a reaction or reflex. If the neutral stimulus and unconditioned stimulus are repeatedly presented together, then over time the neutral stimulus alone will cause the same response as the unconditioned stimulus, which is then called a conditioned or learned response. This theory was developed by the physiologist Ivan Pavlov, who conducted studies on dogs using the unconditioned stimulus of food, which produced a reflexive response of salivating. Pavlov presented the food to the dogs simultaneously with different neutral stimuli, such as the sound of a metronome. Over time the dogs began salivation just by hearing the ticking of a metronome alone.
This example presents the knowledge issue: to what extent can the results of studies, especially those conducted on animals, be applied to humans in real life? This knowledge issue addresses the applicability of results in studies to real life. After I learned about classical conditioning, I found that it did in fact apply to my own life. When my figure skating coach played a certain song when I got on the ice, she would tell me to start warming up my footwork and practicing drills. After a while, I began to automatically begin warming up when she played that song. Even when I hear the same song when I am not skating, I reflexively think that I have to start warming up since this neutral stimulus has become associated with warming up for me. In this circumstance, the theories of human sciences are very applicable and apparent in my...

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