The Human Sciences gather information through various means, but almost all of them involve three factors: assumptions, data, and calculations.
Errors can occur in any of these.
- Assumptions can be wrong.
- Data can be wrong, or incomplete. It can also include too many variables, making it very difficult to reach any firm conclusions.
- Calculations can be incorrect. Simple arithmetical errors are rare in the computer age, but the choice of a particular formula (another kind of assumption) may lead to misleading results.
At one extreme, people may simply accept reports about social science research without questioning them.
At another extreme, people who become aware of the possible problems with social science research may decide not to believe any of it.
The wise middle position is to view the results of social science research critically and skeptically, but not to reject social science altogether.
The same wise middle position applies to all the other AOKs as well.