Kerlinger Chapter 1: science and scientific methodology.

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Scientific knowledge (Overview and Basic Concepts)

Common sense knowledge is important, is generalized. Scientific knowledge has many steps that must be applied to determine if the hypothesis is true or situción. Do not generalize from one case.

Knowing is an intellectual process by which a relationship between the knower (actor) and the known object (reality).

There are glances of psychology:

1) Positivists: You must show, watch for it to be valid, measure, quantify, and so on. (It is science based on evidence).

a) Post-positivist Probalan is added, it may be or not. Deductive (general to particular).

2) Phenomenology: Is the experience, emotions, phenomena. Study what is not necessarily observable. Inductive method (particular to general).

Knowledge is an activity through which we acquire the certainty that there is a reality that the world around there.

Types of knowledge:

1) Impirica: THROUGH known from experience, I have not personally investigated methods (personal research).

2) Scientific: Comments, describe, predict, and apply the knowledge object through procedures and methods based on logic.

a) Description: No decryption, what happens.

b) Explain the behavior: Explain the evidence.

c) Predict: what will happen in the future.

Scientific Knowledge.

Science: systematic knowledge that man a reality built on historical and social circumstances pipes and determined. It is expressed in theoretical prepositions and from which validate and formulate alternatives to that reality.

Feature: Identify characteristics and properties of the object of knowledge. Employs its own language, is based on logic, the scientific method goes.

Is applied to methods such as observation, experimentation, induction, analysis and synthesis.

Types of Science.

1) Formal: The object of knowledge as defined abstract concepts that build the mind of the investigation.

2) fact: The object of knowledge perceived by the experience of those who research.

Study: organic phenomena (biology), inorganic (physical chemistry), auperorgánicos (sociology, psychology, management and economics).

Research processes.

1) Selection and defenicion of the research topic.

2) the research problem.

a) Problem statement: In no more than 2 pages, setting the context of the investigation. Is to describe what is known about a topic. Theory, research, figures, data, etc. This process involves description, forecast and control the outcome.

b) Formulation of the problem: It's the big question.

c) systematizing of the problem: Sub-questions specifically related to the big question.

3) Purpose of research: Actions to answer questions (concrete).

a) objective: the question is associated with generak.

b) Objectives: Dan of the general purpose and are associated with specific questions.

4) Justification of the research:

a) Theory: When the outcome is going to contribute to a theory.

b) Methodology: The research development will generate a measuring instrument, for example: Survey.

c) Practice: As part of research, a workshop.

5) Framework: Context of research.

a) Theoretical: successful theories that explain certain phenomena.

b) Concept: It is associated with a current teótica in particular.

c) Space: Context which will research, physical place.

dTemporal: How is the duration of the investigation.

6) Hypothesis: is a statement in relation to variables and goes to a check, check.

a) First degree: Hypothesis given from the experience of observation.

b) Second degree relations is established, require an investigation prior information.

c) Third degree: Poses cause-effect hypothesis and experiment is needed.

7) Ayectas methodologic

a) Type of study:

* Exploration (No or very little previous research).

* Description (described variables, are released).

* Correlational (2 or more related variables).

* Explanatory (causal studies, case-(VI) effect (VD), there are variables (dependent and independent).

b) Research Design:

* Experimental Design: Handling of variables, cause and effect (dependent variable)

* No pilot: No variables are manipulated.

c) Sources and collection techniques.

Science: Theory and fact.

Popular definition of science: "accumulation of systematic knowledge"

This definition ignores the nature

fundamental science, which is a method

approach to the entire empirical world, ie the

world that is capable of being subjected to

man experience.

The goal of science is to understand the world in which man lives.

The popular concept are conceived as separate and opposite aspects.

Theory is confused with

speculation until it is proven.

It is thought that the events are defined, certain, indisputable, and that its meaning is revealed by itself.

Is an observation made ​​empirically observable.

Theory refers to the relationships between facts, or ordering them in a way that makes sense.

We can say that the facts of science are the result of observations are not random but have a sense, that is, they are theoretically consistent.

The theory is an instrument of science in the following ways:

1 .- Define the main thrust of a science, it defines the data classes to be abstract.

2 .- It presents an outline of concepts by which we systematize, classify and interrelate relevant phenomena.

3 .- summarizes the facts:

a) an empirical generalization

b) generalization systems

4 .- Predict facts.

5 .- notes that there are gaps in our knowledge.

The facts are only theories producers in the following ways:

1 .- The facts help initiate theories.

2 .- They lead to the reformulation of existing theory.

3 .- They are cause for rejection of theories that do not fit the facts.

4 .- Change the focus of orientation theory

5 .- clarify and redefine the theory.


1 .- The theory as a guide: reducing the scope of the facts to be studied.

Soccer Ball eg: economics (supply and demand)

chemistry, physics, sociology, psychology.

2 .- The theory and conceptualization and classification

3 .- The role of theory is summarized:

1) empirical generalization

2) sets of relationships between propositions

4 .- The theory predicts events

5 .- The theory is clear in our knowledge.


1 .- The fact the theory starts

2 .- The factsredefine and clarify the theory.


The demonstration provides a clear way, that there is a given, regardless of his goodness, his rectitude or beauty.

The science is devoid of judgments about values.

Science gives preference to certain problems, judging that one is more important than another, and therefore their resolution is more desirable.

What is the moral responsibility of men of science today?

The answer directly affects the uses of science and not the method.



It builds on the work of others.

Can be repeated.

Can be generalized to other situations.

Based on some logical reasoning and is

connected to a theory.

It can be done!

Generates new questions or is cyclical in nature.

Is incremental.

It is a non-political activity to be undertaken

in order to improve society.


It is important to find something simply not be found.

Plagiarizes the work of others.

Falsify data to prove something.


For the resolution of problems is necessary to know and understand the language and scientific planning. Therefore it is necessary to master the language of science, as scientists used a special and distinct words in common use, also reaching the invention of new terms.

Differences between science and common sense

In the use of conceptual frameworks and theoretical constructs. Common sense but also applies theories and concepts you do so vague, because accepting imaginary explanations for natural and human phenomena. Instead science builds on a systematic theoretical frameworks, internal consistency checks and subjected to empirical test. Furthermore, science recognizes that the concepts are an invention of man and its relation to reality can and can not exist. In science there sistemáticay empirical verification of theories and hypotheses. So the scientist should check their research in the laboratory or field. So check the relationships between variables in a systematic, controlled and empirical. The man however unscientific test hypotheses but also does so in a way that might be called selective, ie, permanently select evidence simply because it is consistent with the hypothesis. (Eg the idea that blacks have a special aptitude for the sport . So I checked people noting that many black athletes are winning medals in the Olympics. This is common sense.) The scientist has a constant concern for the relationships between phenomena, but also the common man have this concern. The difference is that the scientist seeks relationships consciously and systematically. In scientific research there is control, in the sense that the scientist seeks to systematically exclude variables that appear as possible causes of the effect that studies and which are not covered by him as the real cause. In contrast, the common man tends to accept any explanations that agree with their preconceptions and biases or prejudices. Science as opposed to common sense rejects the metaphysical explanations (not concerned with them), ie, those propositions that can not be proven. Thus science deals with things that can be observed and verified by the person who you want, so the proposals and questions should contain implications for public observation and testing to be propositions of scientific questions.

Four methods of knowledge:

Method of Tenacity: man clings to the truth because it has always been sure that is true. Holding on even when there are clearly contradictory facts of that truth. Method of authority: It takes about an idea that has some support in tradition and public sanction. (Eg if the doctor says so should be). This method is necessary for the advancement of human progress. Priori method: a priori propositions are consistent with reason and not necessarily with experience. People reach the truth through communication and free exchange. The problem is that usually there is no consensus on who is right. Method of science has a key feature. Self-correction, because there s internal evaluations within the scientific knowledge, which have been designed and used to monitor and verify the activities and scientific findings at the end of the search for reliable knowledge. For scientists even though the evidence is reliable at first glance do not accept it as true. Also important is the objective, which is defined as the agreement between expert judges of what is observed or what to do or have done research.

Science objectives.

Its basic objective is to explain natural phenomena. These explanations are called theories. "A theory is a set of propositions consisting of constructs defined and interrelated. Establishes the interrelationships among a group of variables (constructs) and explains and predicts phenomena. Other objectives are: explanation, understanding, prediction and control.

What is research?

"Scientific research is a critical inquiry and empirical controlled natural phenomena guided by theory and hypotheses about the alleged links between these phenomena."

Scientific research is systematic and controlled, means that it is very orderly, as it allows researchers to have a critical confidence in the results of the investigation. (The comments are disciplined scientific research). Scientific research is empirical. If the scientist believes something is as it is, is that somehow test their idea, that is subjective ideas should be compared with objective reality.

What is the scientific approach?

It is a systematic way of thinking and research all reflective

Problem-obstacle-idea: the scientist often encounter an obstacle for the understanding of the phenomenon observed and not observed. Have a need to know why something happens a certain way. The most important step is to clarify the idea, the problem in some way manipulated according to reason. So this is the most important and difficult the whole process. Hypothesis: After reasoning the problem, to use his experience to try to get a solution and to observe relevant phenomena, the scientist is in a position to formulate a hypothesis. "The hypothesis is a statement as a conjecture, a tentative proposition on the relationship between two or more phenomena or variables." Reasoning, deduction, here the scientist follows the consequences of the assumptions he has made. In this type of knowledge the experience, knowledge and insight are important. In many cases the scientist, to infer the consequences of a hypothesis that has developed, is facing a completely different issue raised at the beginning or on the other hand may find that your deductions lead to the conclusion that the problem can be solved technical tools of the moment. Observation-test-experiment: if the problem is well posed, the hypothesis formulated properly, and their implications carefully deduced, this step is almost automatic. The essence of a hypothesis is to test the relationship expressed by this. Variables are not tested as such, but the relationship between them. The main purpose of making the observation, evaluation and testing is to bring the relationship to systematic empirical test .. Here is rejected or accepted the hypothesis.

Thomas Kuhn and the Status of Social Sciences

Edison Otero

There is a problematic relationship between the ideas contributed by Thomas S. Kuhn (1922-1996) the epistemological debate and the status of the social sciences involved in these ideas. The following considerations try to outline the details of the problematic condition.

As is known, Kuhn elaborates his thesis from the perspective of the history of science. On many occasions, characterized his approach as sociological propositions or social psychology. Even more, even said that rewriting The Structure of Scientific Revolutions focus its analysis not on the concept of paradigm, but on the concept of scientific community, or would turn from a clear emphasis towards a logical or cognitive explicitly sociological focus. In short, science is open to an approach in terms of social sciences. Replying to Lakatos, Kuhn said that draws on social psychology, but says he prefers to say sociology - not to individual psychology, psychopathology, the collective mentality or something.

Moreover, a review of its books and major articles reveals that virtually takes all especificatorios and demonstrative examples of the physical sciences and life sciences. In fact, no examples of ideas or social science disciplines is used by Kuhn to argue a case significant scientific event, normal or revolutionary. This would conclude that, although believed in the possibility of a sociological approach to understanding various dimensions of scientific phenomenon, does not seem to believe that sociology itself is an example of his theory of normal science-cycle fault-normal-science scientific revolution. In fact, Kuhn is a consideration which strengthens this conclusion. Kuhn distinguishes preparadigmático period in the development of a scientific discpline, cacracteriza stage that the existence of rival schools that focus on so many the same issues. Preparadigmático this period, we assume, is not strictly one terminal located on the border of a period of normal science, but even a stage prior to the structuring of a stage of normal science. The social sciences fall under that figure. The obvious question is: which of these rival schools would provide the theoretical foundation for an approach socológico of science?.

Let's find another way, wondering what happened to the sociology of science after Kuhn. In substance, is a difficult debate that divides the contestants into two groups: on one hand, those who subscribe to the idea of a scientific activity peculiarde ethos, made ​​by Robert Merton, albeit with varying degrees of acceptance or criticism, of the other the so-called strong program in the School of Edinburgh. Authors such as Barry Barnes, Bloor, Karen Woolgar or Knorr-Cetina, with different emphasis, have been proposed from the 70 a view of scientific activity in terms of cognitive and social interests, questioning the ideas that explain in terms of reasons. In the conceptions of the strong program are substantive categories such asscientific, power and authority in the Weberian sense of the term, control and dependence, along with a critique of the concept of scientific community and, ultimately, the linking of certain cognitive structures with sets of specific networks of power and authority.

Although they are identified as postkuhnianos or even as developments in the direction indicated by Kuhn, Kuhn himself did not feel close to the authors of the strong program. In the preface to The Essential Tension, in 1977, Kuhn says, "In the literature of the sociology of science, especially those who have studied the value system of science have been Robert K. Merton and his followers. Recently, a This group have repeatedly criticized and sometimes nasty tone some sociologists that, based on my work and sometimes informally describing as 'Kuhnian', emphasize that the values ​​vary from one community to another, and from age to age. In addition, say these crítcos that whatever the values ​​of a given community, one and another of its members repeatedly violate. In these circumstances, think it is absurd to believe that the analysis of the values ​​we have an effective means to clarify the scientific conduct . The preceding comments, so hows the articles that provide an introduction indicate, however, misguided as I think it's that kind of criticism. "

In a 1968 article, titled "The history of science, Kuhn argues: Another change of history that is likely to have increasing effects is the sociology of science. Ultimately, any interest or skills in that field have to be historical. But in the current state of underdevelopment of their specialty, sociologists may well learn something about the history of the company is investigating. "So far Kuhn. Underdevelopment expression speaks for itself and a little clarifies its position regarding social sciences. Speaking of reasons (values) and interest, Kuhn was not interested in taking part in the quarrel between internalist and externalist, rather, was convinced to integrate both approaches, in the belief that each of them, separately and in isolation, became exclusive and reductionist positions. externalist argued against that though its work will not result in precisely the consideration of external factors involved in the scientific enterprise, this should not be construed as a denial of their existence. Just so was not its main purpose.

In the same article on the history of science to which we have referred, Kuhn weaves so many considerations of their ideas about science. For the moment we distinguish between earlier and later moments in the evolution of a science, more specifically, the difference between mature science and others are not. In the early stages of development of a discipline, needs and social values ​​appear to be the main determinants of the problems that it has its practitioners, and the concepts used are taken from the common sense of time, the prevailing philosophical traditions, or the most prestigious science. This state of high permeability with the general social context will experience a close apparent in the later stage, mature. Now there is a particular subculture, highly complex and self-refer, for purposes consistent intellectual properties to increase the agreement between theory and object. All indications suggest that Kuhn saw social science at this stage of a mature scientific discipline.

In a 1959, before the publication of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn and drove the distinction of mature and immature science, perfectly assimilated preparadigmática and paradigmatic stages. In this article, entitled The Essential Tension: Tradition and Innovation in Scientific Research, Kuhn uses the terms preconsenso and consensus. It is clear that consensus assimilated to maturity, in some way, then, preconsenso, ie the simultaneous presence of competing theories, it makes the maturity of a discipline. This can be read as something extremely shocking as it collides with our belief that pluralism and diversity of ideas are intellectual property inalienable. Kuhn says explicitly: "The historical facts strongly suggest that, although science is practiced (as in philosophy or science of art and politics) without a firm consensus, this practice will not produce more flexible pattern of rapid scientific advances and consequent to which we have acotumbrado recent centuries. "His historical examples of science in the process of consensus include a variety of disciplines, all of which belong to the known physical and biological sciences. A terse sentence and paragraph closes halftone relevant, verbatim: "This century is characterized by the emergence of the first consensus on parts of a few of the social sciences." There is no specification of what would these few social sciences and what parts of them speaking. In 1965, in Bedford Symposium in London, Karl Popper Kuhn raised doubts about a sociological approach to science explicitly asked how he could base his arguments on the basis of spurious disciplines such as psychology, sociology or history itself. Kuhn said that if what he means is that generalizations in sociology and psychology are sources too weak to build from them a philosophy of science, he could not agree more. Consequently, it reaches beyond seeing them as a reference. Moreover, says Kuhn, Popper's own texts are filled with observations of a historical and sociological.

In response to those who criticn not elaborate on the type externalist considerations, Kuhn develops another disquisition on phases or stages of a scientific discipline. Kuhn says: Both general historians and historians of science repeatedly complain that my relationship of scientific development is based solely on internal factors of science itself, that I can not enter the scientific communities in society that sustain and which are extracted from its members, and therefore I seem to believe that scientific development is immune to the influences of social media, eonómico, religious and philosophical in which it operates. It is clear that my book has little to say about such influences, but this should not be construed as denying that they exist. On the contrary, be understood as an attempt to explain why the evolution of science has occurred more developed relatively independently of the social environment in greater degree than the evolution of disciplines such as engineering, medicine, law and the arts " . It is implied here, again, that Kuhn cinluye social sciences between the mature sciences. In a 1971 text called The history and the history of science, Kuhn reiterated this idea: "I will not argue that this climate has no external significance for scientific development. But except in the rudimentary stages of field development, the environment in which intellectual activity is given reacts on the theoretical structure of science only to the extent warranted by a specific technical problems faced by professionals that field".

An important conclusion to draw from the history we have considered here is that the scheme known arch and normal science and scientific revolutions is a functional model for understanding the dynamics of mature science. Consequently, their application to the social sciences is, at least, problematic. It will not be misplaced to say that Kuhn, like Popper, was sensitive to the observation of the vulnerability of the social disciplines to external factors. Taking into account the public issue of social studies in the 60's and 70's, heavy on ideological intoxication, it is possible to understand the apprehensions of Kuhn to developments such as the strong program in sociology of science. The facts seem to agree. Many of the products of this research trend is not much different from that literature reductionist, simplistic and trivial it sought to establish a mono-causal relationship between mechanical and social contexts and intellectual products.

It is safe to say, therefore, that Thomas Kuhn had an ambivalent intellectual relationship to the social sciences, which means not ambiguous. Characterizing his approach as inherently sociological, had no doubt many of the claims challenging content of social scientists, while admitting that contain a fruitful intellectual potential for the understanding of scientific phenomenon. Here comes to finish a substantive issue. Apparently, then, there would be differences between the physical and biological sciences and social sciences. But, as we have seen, there is a difference in definitions but a difference in the situation. In view of Kuhn, a scientific discipline goes through stages that lead up to his middle age, developed consensual paradigm. Thus we have a unique idea of science, however, that the historical origins and current status of each can be very particular, as Kuhn reiterated again and again. So, strictly speaking, the scheme is not normal science-scientific revolution did not come to the social sciences for essential reasons, but they do not come by now, while still maintaining their preparadigmáticos periods. Closing the circle, this is what explains that Kuhn does not resort to any social science to illustrate the thesis of scientific revolutions. Consistent with this, and doing theory-fiction, if Kuhn had not now but in the future, he could specify their general ideas to specific cases specimens taken from the social sciences. All this, of course, under the big assumption that Thomas Samuel Kuhn is right.

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