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Sep15-05, 02:04 AM
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Quote Quote by Smurf
What's a 'hard' science and what's a 'soft' science?
Generally, the physical and life sciences, sciences that involve laboratory rigor, are considered 'hard' sciences, and the social sciences, which involve a good deal more of the rationalist methodology, are considered 'soft.' Behavioral and cognitive psychology, even though they take place largely in a laboratory environment, have often been lumped in as 'soft' as well. One distinction that might be made to better define the distinction is that 'hard' sciences tend to have accepted theoretical frameworks within which hypothesizing is conducted, whereas something like psychology or sociology can have many different competing schools of thought, neither of which seems more plausible than any other from a methodological standpoint. Put another way, it's easier to draw solid conclusions from the empirical data available to the 'hard' sciences.