Research in the Humanities vs the Sciences

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Quote From One of My College Course Responses

The major difference between research done in the sciences and humanities is the kind of information being referenced and how an assertion’s veracity is measured. This is more obvious in the “hard” sciences associated with STEM degrees than in the “soft” disciplines.

In the humanities, research is done to construct a consensus on the subject and assertion of the thesis. The veracity of a thesis is the degree and authority of references supporting it. The more similar assertions and the more senior (authoritative) sources are the better the support for the thesis. The implication is that the humanities support their assertions by consensus.

In sciences, research is done to collect supporting data recorded during experiments or referencing defined laws supported by reproduced experiments (no deviation of results). Contrary to the assertions we see in popular media, there’s no such thing as scientific consensus. Any finding can overturn popular opinion. In the case of a scientific assertion, no matter how much experimental support a paper has, a single paper with contrary validated experimental data can overturn it.

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