- Created by: KaiMJ
- Created on: 02-02-19 22:03
Economics as a Social Science
Scientific Method - a method which subjects theories or hypothesis to falsification by empirical evidence. (1. Hypothesis, 2. Evidence, 3. Accept, Modify or Refute.)
Theory - a hypothesis which is capable of refutation by empirical evidence.
Law - a theory or model which has been verified by empirical evidence.
Social Science - the study of societies and human behaviour using a variety of methods, including the scientific method.
- Difficult to gather evidence to support or refute a theory as experiments can't easily be held.
- Relies on evidence in ordinary life which has constantly changing variables making it difficult.
- Economists also reach different conclusions when looking at a particular set of data.
- It is difficult to understand and predict human behaviour.
- Economics studies groups of individuals which is easier to predict and understand.
- Changing variables makes making a definite conclusion impossible. ('It is likely that'.)
Model - a hypothesis which is capable of refutation by empirical evidence.
- A 'theory' and a 'model' is essentially the same thing.
- Models are more specific than theories. (Models tend to be in mathematical terms.)
- All theories and models are simplifications of reality, including models from normal sciences.
- Theories and models make assumptions of other variables in order to be useful.
- Some factors must be ignored in order for theories and models to make sense.
Ceteris Paribus - all things being equal; the assumption that, whilst the effects of a change in one variable are being investigated, all other variables are kept constant.
- Assumptions are made to simplify issues so they're easier to solve.
- Economists adopt the ceteris paribus condition.
- Essentially they assume that all other factors remain unchanged.