What are the Benefits of Social Science Research? Using literature and practical examples show how research has influenced our understanding of each other and society.

Essay by wellroverCollege, UndergraduateB, December 2009

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Social research is the purposive and rigorous investigation that aims to generate new knowledge. It is the intellectual tool of social scientists; social research is about discovery, new ideas, expanding the horizons and new conclusions on aspects of life. Research is diverse and pluralistic, varying in focus, purpose, procedures and theoretical foundations. Research may focus on people and the physical and social environment or on hidden structures n meaning. It can aim to increase scientific knowledge or to help people and change their lives. (Sarantakos 2005)John Dewey (1859-1952) was an American psychologist, philosopher, educator, social critic and political activist. In 1933 Dewey came up with 5 stages to research these are:•Recognition and definition of problem needing to be resolved.

•Observations, collection and classification of data which is considered relevant to problem.

•Formulation of tentative hypothesis.

•Hypothesis verification.


There are many types of research. The most used areas of research are qualitative and quantitative.

However two more popular methods of research are Longitudinal and Descriptive. Longitudinal research studies social issues on more than one occasion using the same or different samples. In sociology these studies can be used to study life events throughout lifetime or generations, these studies tend to be more accurate. Types of longitudinal study are cohort studies and panel studies. Descriptive research is a sort of conclusive research that aims to describe characteristics and data of the item being studied.

The Purpose of social research is to:•Explain social life and explain why we do things.

•Understand human behaviour and actions.

•Make predictions.

•Develop and/or test theories.

•Suggest possible solutions to social problems.

•To empower and liberate people.

There are many reasons why social research takes place, it can be used to educate and inform the public, to provide support to political plans and programmes. The principles of...