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Human sciences - the language of questionnaires

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´╗┐Theory of Knowledge - 11th Grade 29 March 2012 How might the language used in polls, questionnaires and other information-gathering devices of this sort influence the conclusions reached? If there is an influence, does it, or a similar one, occur in natural science research? Does the extent of the influence relate to the degree of certainty attributed to the natural sciences and the human sciences respectively, or to the social status or value associated with each? First of all it is necessary to understand what human sciences are: a human science is the study and interpretation of the experiences, activities, constructs, and artifacts associated with human beings. Human sciences, as psychology and economics, often have experiments through polls and questionnaires. I believe there is a strong correlation between the language used in information-gathering devices and the conclusion that is reached because of them. I also believe the conclusion changes because of the degree of certainty attributed to human sciences caused by the fact that human beings can be easily affected by external factors. ...read more.


After one week the participants were asked to return and they were asked a series of questions regarding the video they saw the previous week. The critical question in this case was "Did you see any broken glass?" The responses were different based on the previous week's results. response smashed hit control Yes 16 7 6 No 34 43 44 These results shows that what people remembered was affected by the verb used, so by the language used. The experiments made in the natural sciences usually do not comprehend people's response to something or polls and questionnaires. This is why in the natural sciences, the language used won't affected the conclusion. How could language affect a blood test, a pendulum or the formation of a certain compound in chemistry? Even though I researched several websites and asked to many people, apparently, I only found one person believing the language used in polls and questionnaires does not affect the results. ...read more.


A person could answer differently to polls or questionnaires because of a different emotion felt caused by a different language. Sensory perception is instead defined as: the process, act, or faculty of perceiving with the senses. In the present issue, sensory perception can be implied because of the fact that one can see or listen to a certain type of language in polls. If someone is deaf he or she will see someone's gestures and body language to understand what it is being asked, in other cases people will listen to certain words used. That will affect that person's response to the question. People who are part of experiments in the human sciences are often asked to answer to some questions. These questions are formulated so to have a certain language used instead of another one. I believe the participants in the experiments affect their answers (with or without knowing) because of the language used in the questionnaires or polls. This would never happen in the natural sciences since these sciences have a higher degree of certainty because there is not the human variable in the experiment. ...read more.

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