Social science is the branch of science devoted to the study of societies and the relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the original “science of society”, established in the 19th century .What it refers to is disciplines that study human interactions.
Natural sciences use the scientific method in order to study the world around us. Astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics are the main branches of natural science. There are some cross-disciplines of these branches, such as astrophysics, biophysics, physical chemistry, geochemistry, biochemistry, astrochemistry…
Some do not qualify “Social sciences” as sciences since they argue that they do not use the pure Scientific Methods.
For information, the Scientific Method involves:
1) Creation of a hypothesis
2) Use the hypothesis to make a prediction that can be experimentally tested
3) Perform the experiment to see if the prediction is correct
Social science is perhaps referred to as such due to the involvement of mathematics, specifically statistics in their studies.
It’s important to note that this is not a criticism of the VALUE of Social Sciences. It is just an important distinction to draw when considering conclusions raised by the different disciplines.
It is also important to note that not everything studied in the Natural Sciences uses the Scientific method. There are areas where it is not possible to construct a meaningful experiment, either because the subject is too complex, or because the technology does not exist.
In general though, conclusions derived from use of the Scientific Method are fairly reliable. Conclusions determined without it, are frequently far less reliable, but one can still safely trust those where a large amount of data exists and amongst those who understand the data, there is consensus.