Basic methods of social cognition


2018-03-17 14:50:56




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Science, which is the study of social processes divide into two groups: Humanities and social. Each of them uses its own methods and approaches to research. Social Sciences include history, Economics, political science and so on. Among the Humanities disciplines include art history, Philology, psychology, Ethnography, etc. the Philosophy applies equally to one and to another group. In the social Sciences is dominated by social methods of learning. They are focused on the study of connections and relationships between people. Humanitarian approach involves the study of the individual characteristics of the person, his emotional background, the spiritual world, personal aspirations.

social cognition

Social life

Man – not just a part of nature, but a social being. Public laws short-lived. They are manifested through the activity of people. This is caused by the specificity of social cognition. The subject of research is primarily the work of the people. Is also important and the relationships that are formed during its implementation. In addition, Social cognition are used to investigate the results of human activity. They manifest in the culture of society. Accordingly, as the subject of knowledge of a person or social Association, the society as a whole.


The Specificity of cognition of social reality stems from the fact that human history is not only taught, but created by the people themselves. From this key features of the study are derived and other features:


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  • The Real processes of social life are included in the context of a particular era, nation, country. In this regard, a large value of Has the historical method in social cognition. It allows to analyze and to compare the results of human activities in different eras.
  • Events that occur in a certain area, never exactly repeated.
  • Due To the fact that social phenomena are complex and variability, they cannot indicate constants.
  • The Spiritual and the social processes it is impossible to study in laboratory conditions.

social scientific methods of cognition

  • Research carried out by the person concerned. It is, accordingly, determines the subjectivity of the obtained results.
  • Study social processes may not be sufficiently Mature. This complicates the identification of trends in the spiritual and socio-economic development.
  • Reflections on the forms of being are made on the basis of the results of human activity.
  • The processes they study, in the short term become history. And the study is influenced by the present.
  • The Results of development are for many people the only permissible form of life. In this regard, their analysis is carried out in the opposite direction to their development.
  • Significant advances in the development of human thought coincide with crisis periods in the existing relations.


A Feature of social cognition is that for research it does not matter the possibility to carry out direct observation of the processes. Objects of study can be memoirs, documents, and other materials. For social disciplines, an important source of results shall be considered non-scientific understanding of reality. These include works of art, values, political attitudes, beliefs, and so forth.

social experiment a method of cognition


Many works of art, because of its integrity, carry more valuable information than the scientific literature. Humanities research require the person concerned to the ability to take the place of the observer relative to himself, his feelings, actions, motives. The result of the study becomes the inner world of the researcher. Studying other people a person knows himself. Exploring your inner world, the individual looks at himself through the gaze of others.

Socio-scientific methods of cognition of society and the humanitarian approach in the study of personality are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they have a close relationship. Today's society is faced with various global issues. In these circumstances, particularly relevant are the Humanities and social Sciences. Methods of cognition are often applied in an integrated manner.

social science methods of cognition

Economic techniques

There are various Methods of cognition of social phenomena. Closest to the natural methods considered to be economic. Among them, the most common is the method of abstraction. It allows to simplify the situation. Like any other discipline, Economics is based on facts. But they are so numerous that no generalizations can not only predict new processes and to predict tendencies of their currents, but to understand them.

The Algorithm

In the study of economic facts is the first step should be to them an accurate description. After that, you need to identify the relationships between them. To do this, the facts are divided into groups. They are classified and sistematizirovat. The more facts that prove a generalization, so it is more reliable and safer. Accuracy and completeness will ensure the formulation of hypotheses to be tested. This, in turn, will allow you to develop a different economic theory.

There are several fundamental concepts formulated. These include, for example, include employment, monetarist theory. In addition to General, there are also private concepts. They consider problems in specific economic sectors: consumption, distribution, production, exchange. They, in turn, have their own theory. For example, the concept of pricing of factors of production. It exists in the framework of the theory of distribution.

the historical method in social cognition

Basic methods of social cognition

They can be divided into 2 groups: theoretical and empirical techniques. These are quite a large variety. This is due to the fact that explores the many sides of society. Accordingly, for each aspect may specify its Social cognition. The most popular technique is the survey. The accuracy of the results (representativeness) depends on the quality of the sample. It should ensure adequate representation of the General population.

Participant observation

This technique involves the direct participation of the researcher in the activities of the selected team. He is a member, performs the duties assigned to him. Along with this, the researcher performs in advance under observation. So you can get a reliable information. It will be more authentic than information received from outside. Especially effective this technique in cases when a researcher is in the team anonymously. When you are using external Social cognition, the subjects often change their behavior. While anonymous of the included observation is excluded.

methods of cognition of social phenomena

Social experiment (method of knowledge)

The Use of this technique is rather difficult:

  1. The monitoring group may modify its behavior. This greatly affects the purity of the study.
  2. Social experiment difficult to reproduce. This complicates the verification of results by other researchers.
  3. Measurement of variables difficult to quantify. This is necessary because in the evaluation it is difficult to escape from subjective factors.
  4. Variables can be measured separately from each other. So between them it is possible to identify only correlation, not causal.

These problems create obstacles for wide application of the experimental method.

Humanitarian approaches

These include methods of investigation of human spiritual development. As a reference the principles of interpretation and understanding of the processes of the cultural activities of people. In the sphere of the Humanities cognition allocate such fields as art history, literary criticism, art criticism, the practice of translation and so on.

basic methods of social cognition


The Methods of social cognition together with humanitarian approaches provide an accurate and extensive knowledge of the life of society in General and the individual in particular. These techniques allow to analyze and compare the course of certain processes, to observe their dynamics. The results of the analysis, in turn, allow to predict the occurrence and development of those or other phenomena in society. The obtained knowledge is applied in various fields: the economy, politics, public administration and so on.


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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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