Are the social sciences “real” science?

YouTube channel Crash Course is starting a new series on what is perhaps the most social of social sciences: Sociology. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnCJU6PaCio The social sciences, such as sociology, but also psychology, economics, anthropology, and other similar fields get a lot of grief from people about not being "real" science.  This criticism is typically justified by noting … Continue reading Are the social sciences “real” science?

Are social psychologists biased against conservatives? A simple check for ideological bias.

Maria Konnikova has an article in the New Yorker on whether there is bias in social psychology against conservatives.  One of the people calling attention to the issue is Jonathan Haidt, whose work my long time readers will know I'm generally a fan of. The core issue that Haidt is calling attention to is the … Continue reading Are social psychologists biased against conservatives? A simple check for ideological bias.

The Great Recession was less severe than the Great Depression because we do learn from history.

As is quickly becoming usual, Tina at Diotima's Ladder asks excellent questions: Roosevelt and Obama: Did we avoid a Great Depression? | Diotima's Ladder. For the past week I’ve been rushing home every night to catch The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Ken Burns. I’m not really a big Ken Burns fan. And yes, it’s the fiddle music. … Continue reading The Great Recession was less severe than the Great Depression because we do learn from history.

Beauty is determined by both biology and culture

Science can't determine values, and this includes aesthetics, beauty.  But that doesn't mean science has nothing to say about beauty.  As this article at PolicyMic indicates, it can study what most of us see as beauty and explore the reasons why we see it as beautiful. The primary reason we are alive is to reproduce … Continue reading Beauty is determined by both biology and culture