Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Science walks on two legs, but social sciences try to hop on one


Science walks on two legs. One leg consists of asking: How things are? This leads to observation, measurement, graphing, and statistical description. The other leg consists of asking: How things should be, on logical grounds? This leads to logical models that should become quantitatively predictive. Science largely consists of such models, tested with data. Developed science establishes not only connections among individual factors but also connections among these connections. As an illustration, I use laws about human activity I have found. But social sciences often take the lazy road of fitting raw data with a straight line or some fashionable format, unaware of the need to think and build models based on logic, as stressed by Karl Deutsch. As expounded in my Making Social Sciences More Scientific (2008) and Logical Models and Basic Numeracy in Social Sciences,, I call for a major widening in social science methodology.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View